Grocery Store Ruse Fools Whole Foods Shopper

A woman was charged in connection with credit card theft and fraud on Tuesday, October 27. On Saturday, September 5, police responded to a Whole Foods grocery store, located at 7511 Leesburg Pike in Falls Church, for a larceny report. The victim, a 51-year-old woman, was shopping inside the store between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. when she noticed her wallet was missing.

An investigation revealed that a ruse was employed to distract the victim. The suspect, a young female dressed in shorts and flip flops, approached her in one of the shopping aisles and asked if she could assist in selecting a specific type of food item for her mother. When the victim put her purse down to search for the item, a second suspect allegedly took her wallet. The victim located the food item and passed it to the first suspect, who expressed her appreciation and walked away. The suspect reportedly used the victim’s credit cards to make fraudulent purchases at a nearby mall.

An officer spent nearly two months investigating the case and on October 27, obtained 26 warrants on three suspects. A woman, 23, of Baltimore, MD, was arrested on Thursday,November 5 and transported to the Fairfax County Adult Detention Center. She was charged with one count each of credit card fraud and identity theft, three counts of conspiring to commit credit card fraud and three counts of credit card forgery. A 22-year old woman is being held in the Baltimore County Detention Center and another woman, 24, is being held in the Anne Arundel County Detention Facility.

Fairfax County Police do not believe this an isolated incident and that other similar cases have occurred around the region. As holiday shopping increases, police encourage everyone to be aware of these types of potential scams.