CAUGHT ON FILM: 'Professional pickpockets' target victims in Ola - KCTV5

CAUGHT ON FILM: 'Professional pickpockets' target victims in Olathe restaurant

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(Olathe Police Department) (Olathe Police Department)
OLATHE, KS (KCTV) -

Police in Olathe are sharing surveillance video of an all too common crime caught on camera. 

Investigators say an organized group of professional pickpockets are stealing from unsuspecting people in crowded restaurants and stores. 

The Olathe Police Department released video of two thieves who came to a Panera Bread off of 153rd Street to steal from customers. 

In the video, you can see the suspects scouting their victim inside the restaurant. 

"They signal to each other and they are ready to go to work," said Olathe Police Sargent Logan Bonney. 

Bonney said the first step in the process is to help create a distraction. 

In the video released Thursday, the suspects bumped into the victim's chair several times. 

"When you look at them the first time it's innocent," he said. "The second time, you aren't really paying attention to them because it was innocent the first time. That's when they strike.”

One suspect grabbed the woman's wallet and removed her credit and debit cards, then slid them to his accomplice. 

Police say they have captured one of the suspects in the video. 

Victor Gonzalez-Beiza has been charged with stealing credit or debit cards from at least four different victims in Johnson County. 

"We believe they are a part of a larger criminal organization that travels not only through the metro, but through the country," Bonney said. 

Police say placing purses or wallets underneath chairs are a bad idea. 

They said valuables should always be in eyesight so if someone attempts to grab, you will see it. 

If you have more information about this case, contact the TIPS Hotline at 816-474-TIPS. 

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