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Mount Laurel Police Issue Holiday Shopping Warning

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MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. (CBS) – With surveillance video from a local hotel restaurant, Mount Laurel detective Ed Pincus showed Eyewitness News how in less than five minutes, thieves hit the jackpot.

“Keep your eyes open, be aware of who’s around you”, Detective Pincus said.

In the video, two men sit near a potential victim, whose purse is left in a vulnerable spot on the floor, by her chair.

Mistake number one.

Pincus says you can become a victim real fast. In the video, a man is seen using his coat to shield what he is doing and is able to move her purse closer to him and remove her wallet.

His partner takes out her credit cards and then the wallet is returned before the woman, talking at a table, even know what happened.

“They look to be good at what they are doing, because they didn’t raise any alarms”, said Pincus about the thieves.

Within 20 minutes of the theft, one of the men can be seen at a nearby store buying $630 in merchandise with the woman’s credit card. Police say he left the store with a female accomplice.

Police say another mistake women make is setting their purse in the child seat of a shopping cart. The minute you turn to look at something, your purse or wallet is up for grabs.

“It might be for 30 seconds, but that’s all they need to get your purse,” said Pincus.

He says women should wear their purse across your body and keep it close and closed.

No matter what store or mall you shop in, police say, never leave packages or your purse in plain view in your car. And take a close look at the surveillance video, considering these people haven’t been apprehended since this 2010 incident.

If you recognize the individuals, please contact the Mount Laurel Police Department.

Reported by Robin Rieger, CBS 3

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