Authorities looking for woman using stolen debit cards

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JEFFERSON COUNTY, MO (KTVI) - A warning from police about women and their purses:  a woman has been stealing credit cards from unattended purses and using them to go on shopping sprees.

Surveillance video shows the suspect be dropped off from a Mercedes SUV at the Medicine Shoppe Pharmacy in Pevely then going inside, browsing the aisles and trying to use a stolen debit card.

Three police departments now report the same woman committing the same crimes.

“She selects random items off the shelf, expensive items.  Then she takes them up to the register. Then she uses the stolen card for the transaction.  Then she leaves the area,” said Detective Lewis Pippin of the Festus Police Department.

It’s been the same “M-O” every time:  the same suspect racking up more than a $1,500 tab at least 8 places in 3 cities, Pippin said.

The places include the Festus Glik’s store, the Festus Schnucks, the Festus Walgreens, two places in Ste. Genevieve, and the Pevely Mobil station, Pippin said.

When she tried to buy Pampers at the Pevely Medicine Shoppe, Pippin said things didn’t work out so well.

“She uses the card, it declines. She tries to use it again.  It declines again.  She rummages through her purse as though she’s looking for identification and then she leaves the store,” he said.

She was always in the same early 2000’s model, blue, Mercedes SUV with no front license plate.

The most disturbing thing may be how she’s getting the cards:  in one case sitting down at a desk in a business office and acting as if she belonged there, Pippin said.

“The victim reported that she walked away from her desk.  Whenever she was away from her desk the suspect went behind her desk, took the debit card out of her purse.  This was all later found out by talking to other employees who are at the business,” Pippin said.

She’d also stolen cards from women’s purses in a break room at a hospital in Ste. Genevieve, he said.

She has a medium to heavy build and is her late 30’s to early 40’s, he said.

If you recognize her or that Mercedes – call Festus, Pevely, or Ste. Genevieve Police.

Contact Det. Lewis Pippin, Festus Police at 636-937-3646

Det. Moutray, Pevely Police at 636-475-5301

Chief Bennett, Ste. Genevieve Police at 573-883-5215