SACRAMENTO -- Wallet thefts have been reported at four grocery stores across Sacramento County this month.
The sheriff's department warns that this crime of opportunity is happening more and more across the region.
It is also happening primarily to female shoppers, who choose to place their purse in the front part of their shopping basket.
The victims are approached at grocery stores and asked about ingredients that go into a certain dish. As they help the suspect, a second suspect comes by the shopping cart and steals their wallet from inside the purse.
It happens quickly and often the victims don't realize they've been robbed until they go to pay for their groceries.
Most shoppers FOX40 spoke with Thursday night said they try not to even bring their purse into the store in the first place.
"I don't carry anything unnecessary," said shopper Sara Ingels. "So I just have a small wallet that's in a front pocket that I can grab and keys. That's all I take with me into the store."
Since Dec. 7, the sheriff's department has identified at least seven victims at grocery stores throughout Sacramento and many of the victims have been elderly.