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$1,000 reward to capture wallet thieves using kids as lookouts | News

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$1,000 reward to capture wallet thieves using kids as lookouts


FAYETTEVILLE, Ga. -- Fayetteville police are now offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of two women accused of using children as part of a ruse to steal a wallet. Fayetteville police call the December 26 crime "brazen" and have video of the entire incident. Police said one child was used as a lookout while one of the women stole the wallet.

It is a crime that has police disgusted at how a young child was being taught by adults to steal. "When you involve kids like that, that's just low, about as low as you can get," said Lt. Mike Whitlow.

Two women entered Betty's Fine Collectibles on the square in Fayetteville the day after Christmas. They walked in with two small children. While one woman asked a store employee for help with merchandise on the other side of the store, the other woman snuck behind the counter. She took the employee's wallet from a purse and stuffed it down her pants. 

According to police, it appears from surveillance video that a child was acting as a lookout at the request of the woman who took the wallet. 

"It was horrible," said Karen Bennett, the store employee. "It's disgusting and disgraceful and should be stopped."

As horrified as she was to be taken advantage of, Bennett said she was more upset about the two children. "They're teaching their children that it's okay to commit a crime and actually, how to do it," she said.

The women left the store with the children and the stolen wallet. A little more than an hour later, one of the women was at a Walmart in Griffin using Bennett's credit cards to purchase gift card and other merchandise, according to police. "As silly as it looks, it was a smooth enough operation that tells us they've done this before and probably have used these children before to do this," Lt. Whitlow said. 

Bennett said she had no idea her wallet was stolen until she was contacted by her bank after her credit cards were used. Police said her cards may have been used at several other businesses.