'Career criminals' with convictions dating back to the 80s accused in Elmhurst pick-pocketing crimes
ELMHURST, Ill. - Police investigations can take a long time, but for one pick-pocketing victim, officers were hot on the suspects' trail.
With decades of experience, police say this crew, all in their 50s or 60s, has mastered the art of the pick-pocket.
"All of the individuals are career criminals who have convictions dating back, for the males, all the way to the 1980s when they committed similar theft-type offenses," said Detective Commander Matthew McCollum of the Elmhurst Police Department.
Thursday afternoon near downtown Elmhurst, Tyrell Frazier, Sherman Gibbs and Nedra Bost struck again. Their victim: an elderly woman leaving Panera Bread.
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Police say the victim had no clue she'd been pick-pocketed because one of the men distracted her by pretending his arm was caught in the front door.
"Very brazen. It happened in the early afternoon. Panera bread was not very crowded, and these individuals are very good at what they do. These suspects created a distraction that was effective and they were able to take the wallet without the victim even knowing about it," said McCollum.
They immediately took the stolen wallet to a nearby Sam's Club, where they used the victim's credit card to buy $17,000 worth of prepaid gift cards.
The only problem for them: back at the Panera, an Elmhurst detective recognized their vehicle and tracked their scheme from start to finish. Police arrested all three outside Sam's Club and they now face charges of burglary and theft.