In the last year, there have been 10 thefts of wallets at various Arlington Heights "pay first" restaurants, such as fast food outlets. Police Thursday issued a warning to people to exercise more care in their behavior.
The thefts often occur when purses are often left open with the victim's wallet exposed, sometimes under a chair. This makes them an easy target for someone at an adjacent table or walking by while the victim is distracted. The thief will immediately begin charging purchases knowing the victim has already paid for the food and will not notice the theft for some time.
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There were more than $11,000 in fraudulent charges and $11,000 in fraudulent bank withdrawals in the 10 thefts; an additional $2,500 in charges was denied, police said.
Police suggested keeping your purse in view, making sure it is closed, avoiding sitting in high traffic areas near exits or drink stations, and warning others when you see purses that would be an easy target.