HOUSTON - A woman having lunch with her friend became a crime victim and didn't even know it until she got a call from her credit card company a couple of hours later.
"All of my cards were used at Michael Kors at Memorial City and The Galleria, and they stacked up about $15,000 in purses. I'm told it was about 26 purses," said Lori Slater.
Slater was sitting inside a restaurant in the 700 block of West Sam Houston Parkway North.
Slater told Local 2 her purse was on the back of her chair and that someone grabbed her wallet, took her credit cards and put the wallet back without her knowing. Her friend sitting across from her didn't notice anything either.
"It had to have been somebody professional who does this," Slater said. "To be able to grab my wallet, take what they want and put it back and nobody noticed? It has to be somebody who has done this before."
Slater doesn't know how the thieves pulled it off, but she said it's possible they created a fake ID with her name and their picture to go along with the stolen cards.
"They (the store managers) said she had ID and that the name matched the credit card," Slater said.
Two other women have now come forward and said something similar happened to them.
"My purse was just hanging on the chair," said Kelly Pritchard. She was having dinner with her husband in the 4700 block Washington Avenue in The Heights when she said her wallet was taken.
"I think they were standing behind me and just kind of grabbed my wallet out of the purse and walked out of the restaurant," she said.
Another woman said she became a victim last month while dining at a restaurant in the 6500 block on Woodway near Voss in West Houston.
"Between 7:30 p.m. and 8p.m., my cards were taken and the transactions happened between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.," Sherry Farabee said.
In all of the crimes the crooks worked quickly, illegally charging thousands of dollars within minutes.
Houston police said it's too early in the investigation to know if this is the work of the same people but they are looking into it. They warn women to be careful and never let your purse out of your sight.
"I want whoever is doing this caught " Farabee said.
"They need to be caught," Pritchard said. "Something needs to be done."
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