Police looking for suspects who picked pockets at Costco

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published January 19, 2018

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MADISON HEIGHTS — Police in Madison Heights are seeking tips leading to the identification of a man and a woman accused of stealing wallets from unsuspecting customers at Costco, 30550 Stephenson Highway.

According to Madison Heights Police Department Lt. Michael Siladke, two larceny complaints were reported to Costco on Jan. 14 between 11:15 and 11:50 a.m. The victims were a Huntington Woods resident and a Lathrup Village resident.

“The investigation is ongoing as we’re working toward identifying the suspects. Multiple felony charges will be filed upon identification,” Siladke said. “These type of larceny cases involving distraction or deception happen occasionally, usually in crowded or commercial businesses open to the public.”  

Surveillance footage shows the two suspects approaching each victim — with the female suspect distracting the victims while the male suspect sneaks up and steals their wallets from their purses, which were in the victims’ shopping carts. 

The wallets contained identification, cash and credit cards. The credit cards in the stolen wallets were reportedly later used fraudulently at another store not long after the theft.

The female suspect is described as about 25 to 35 years old, with a thin build. Her height is between 5 feet 4 inches and 5 feet 8 inches. She was wearing a dark-colored parka-style winter coat with white fur lining the hood. She was also wearing a light blue baseball cap. 

The male suspect is described as 25 to 35 years old, with a thin to medium build, standing between 5 feet 7 inches and 6 feet 1 inch tall. He had a full beard at the time and was wearing a blue long-sleeved shirt, blue pants and no jacket, as well as what appears to be pink tennis shoes with dark-colored laces. 

The police lieutenant advisesd people to be careful with their possessions when in public.

“Steps to prevent against being a victim of larcenies and pickpockets include, first and foremost, being aware of your surroundings,” Siladke said. “Secondly, secure your personal items, including purses and wallets, so they’re on your person and never left unattended. Education as to the ways people will try and steal from you is also important. This includes using multiple suspects and a distraction like the one we see in this case.” 

Anyone with information on these incidents, or who may know the identity of the suspects, is asked to call the Madison Heights Police Department at (248) 585-2100.