SUGAR LAND, TX (KTRK) --The search is on for two crooks who scammed and stole from a woman who was simply trying to help a person in need. Investigators at the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office say one of the men seen in surveillance video distracted the victim by asking her for help trying to find baby food.
"I think it's all in the approach. Gaining her confidence, trying to make small talk," said Lt. David Schultz. "I'm sure she's trying to be friendly with that individual."
Deputies say one of the men swiped the woman's wallet out of her purse in her shopping cart while she was trying to help. It happened on March 12 at the Kroger on Highway 6 near W. Airport Blvd.
"Nowadays, you just have to be careful," said shopper, Sandra Nelson. She never lets her bag out of her sight.
"Usually it's across my shoulders. Sometimes it's in the cart. Just always aware of my surroundings, watch what I'm doing," said Nelson.
The two men are believed to be linked to a similar theft on Feb. 3 at a Home Goods store on Westheimer Parkway. They then used a stolen card at a Target on Westheimer Parkway.
"Once again, it was a distraction type theft. Diverting her attention in that particular case. It's unknown whether it's one person or two people acting together," said Schultz.
He said the best way to protect yourself is to always be aware of your surroundings and to wear your purse or bag at all times. If you leave it in your cart, don't leave it open and never let it out of your sight.
The first man is described as a black male in his mid-30's with facial blemishes and a thin mustache. He was wearing a multi-colored, striped polo shirt and jeans. The second man is described as a black male in his late 30's to early 40's and he was wearing a red baseball cap, blue plaid button down shirt and white jeans.
If you have any information about the crime, call Fort Bend County Crime Stoppers at (281) 342-TIPS. You can also send a text message by texting FBCCS plus your tip to CRIMES (274637). You could earn up to a $5,000 reward.