Duo's coat drape scam caught on camera at Panera Bread

FAIRFIELD, OH (FOX19) - Fairfield police are working to identify two men they say are connected to three area thefts.

Police released a video Tuesday that shows two men inside the Fairfield Panera Bread. Those men are believed to have been working together to steal a woman's wallet.

In a social media post, law enforcement describes what they know the video to show:

In the video, you will see the two suspects move a table and chairs to get close to the woman. Then suspect #1 acts as a lookout while suspect #2 removes his jacket and covers his right arm with it then reaches into the woman's purse to steal the wallet. Suspect #2 then reaches back into the purse a second time to see if there is anything else to steal. The two men are nice enough to move the table and chairs back before they leave and rack up thousands of dollars on the woman's credit cards.

Sgt. Peter Lagemann with the Fairfield Police Department says it's possible these two are part of a ring that has ties to Chicago.

"We learned from federal agencies that there was a group believed to be out of Chicago that was traveling the expressways, getting off and running this scam," Lagemann said.

The suspects in the video appear to be responsible for a similar crime in Springfield Township from earlier this year, according to Fairfield officials. In that instance, the thieves used stolen cards at Target stores in Blue Ash, Cincinnati, and Newport. There was also a similar incident reported in Sharonville.

"The other reason to put it out was just to try to get people to pay attention. If you watch the video, there are other people eating in the restaurant," Lagemann said. "The woman had it draped over her chair, her purse over her chair, and then had her jacket over it but still he was able to reach his hand into it."

Anyone with information on the suspects is asked to contact the Fairfield Police Department or Crime Stoppers.

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