6th victim of Fresno's 'Handbag Bandit' comes forward
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Another victim is coming forward and police say more tips are leading them closer to the man responsible for a series of handbag thefts in Fresno and Clovis.
Investigators released new photos of the suspect to Action News. They say within the past 24 hours lots of new information has come in. An employee at P.F. Chang's was the first to victim to come forward and police believe it's only a matter of time before the suspect is caught.
Over and over again, the thief does the same thing. He nonchalantly walks into restaurants, talking on the phone until finally he makes his move.
It happened to Victoria Flores earlier this month, while she was serving customers at the Cheesecake Factory at Fashion Fair Mall. "My shift ended around 8:30 and I go back and my purse was upside down and the first thing I looked at was to see if my wallet was in there and it was gone."
Flores reviewed surveillance video taken by cameras inside the restaurant and describes what she saw as the bold purse snatcher approaches her locker, which wasn't locked.
"He took out my purse, he walked outside with it. You couldn't see it because he kind of had it underneath his sweatshirt but to me, that he looked through it, saw that I had a lot of cash in there, took my wallet, and took my camera."
Then, she says he took her keys and went to her car to steal her speakers. After that, she believes he returned the keys to her locker and left. Flores' co-worker was also a victim the same night.
Fresno Police Captain Al Maroney says based on surveillance video detectives have seen, the man appears to be the same one targeting several restaurants and businesses. His behavior has even baffled officers. "Usually when a person commits a theft they want to get what they're after and get out but you do have to admit it probably adds to the excitement if you will, to go get the property and remove money or whatever you are looking for and then bring it back and place it where you found it. That's pretty brazen."
Since Action News broke this story Tuesday night six victims have come forward with very similar circumstances. Police are now on the case and say tips are coming in that are very credible.
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