Video shows sneaky purse thieves target 2 women outside Tanglewood grocery store

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- New video released by Houston police shows just how fast thieves can hit when you least expect it at the grocery store -- and even in the parking lot.

In this case, the thieves were after women's purses.

Surveillance video captured two different incidents with the same thieves in Tanglewood on Thursday, May 5 around 2:34 p.m.

The video released by HPD shows a woman unloading her cart in the parking lot of Rice Epicurean Market in the 200 block of Fountain View.

A black BMW SUV slowly drives up, and doesn't even stop, all while someone inside grabs the woman's purse from her cart. She tried to chase after the vehicle, but the thieves were already gone.

Minutes before, the video shows the same BMW parked. You can see someone get out of the passenger seat, crouch down, and try to open a car door.

HPD believes the thieves were after another woman's purse, but her car door was locked.

When the thief was unsuccessful, he got back into the SUV and immediately located the other victim.

The thieves haven't been caught. The suspect seen on video is described as a Black man, 18 to 25 years old, wearing a navy blue or black pullover.

Contact Crime Stoppers of Houston directly if you have any information related to this investigation. Information leading to the charging and/or arrest of any felony suspects may result in a cash payment up to $5,000. Tipsters must contact Crime Stoppers directly to remain anonymous and to be considered for a cash payment by calling 713-222-TIPS (8477), submitting an online tip at www.crime-stoppers.org or through the Crime Stoppers mobile app.

Last year, ABC13's Samica Knight got first-hand advice from a Houston police lieutenant on how to protect yourself in parking lots.

She says if you must carry a shoulder purse, make it hard to get.

"Just shift it to the front... keep your elbow tucked in," Lt. T.R. Jefferson said. "Don't chicken wing it, meaning keeping it out. Keep it close, so that you can actually feel where or not somebody is coming up from behind you."

She said the biggest way to make sure you're not a target is put down your cell phone and limit distractions.

READ MORE: How to protect yourself from parking lot predators
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