Band of Central Valley Purse Thieves Strike Again

FRESNO COUNTY -- A band of criminals distracting store owners then stealing their belongings hit up two businesses in Fresno County.

A shop owner in Stanislaus County says she’s seen the same tactic used before when a group of women stole from her. We shared the latest surveillance photos with Tanya Lim, the owner of Salida Donuts.

"It look the same. Look, the same girl,” Lim said.

Lim says her purse was stolen in January of 2015 by a group of women. One half distracted her while another walked to the back of the shop and grabbed her purse.

The latest thefts happened in Fresno County this week.

The Parlier Police Department says the tactic the thieves used is what’s known as a ‘distract and grab’ where one half of the group distracts the employee and the other thief makes a bee line for the goods.

Lim says her purse, which she used to keep in the back of her store, was what the thieves took. Her surveillance cameras caught them in the act. Investigators say these women have hit small businesses all over the state in the last few years including shops in Stockton and Isleton.

But for Lim, it’s not about the thousand dollars that was stolen from her. It’s about the purse itself. She says her husband died 10 years ago. The bag was a gift from him.

"Everywhere, I carry that. Even my friend say throw away. I said, ‘Nope. That’s my husband gift,” Lim said. A sentimental treasure she may never see again.

If you recognize the suspects please call authorities.