Harford County Sheriff’s Office detectives looking to the public to identify several individuals that may be involved in a diversionary theft ring.
Investigators say on July 2 a woman was shopping at the Wal-Mart in Abingdon when a man approached her. He asked her to help him get something from a shelf.
They say when she finished helping him, she realized that her wallet was stolen from her purse.
"It appears that he had gone directly across the street to the Abingdon Target and used her credit cards to purchase other Target gift cards," Cristie Kahler with the Harford County Sheriff's Office said.
Police have looked at surveillance video and pictures and are hopeful that will help them track down the suspects.
"Right now we're looking at five people that have been identified but there could be many more," Kahler said.
While the search for clues and these suspects continues, the theft has left some shoppers questioning those around them.
"You always try to think the best of people and try to help somebody when they're in need and when they do something like that to you it makes you feel like, 'All right. What's wrong with people nowadays,'" Sharon Frazer, a shopper, said.
"You just really can't trust people," Whitney Steg, another shopper, added.
Kahler said that is not the message police want people to get. She said they really want people to focus on being aware of their surroundings. Even with the surveillance video, Kahler said the investigation presents a few challenges.
"While the theft occurred in Harford County and the use of the stolen credit cards occurred in Harford County there are now other jurisdictions where the fraudulent cards were used. The other challenge with this is really identifying the scope of the investigation. At this point, all of these incidents happened in one day between the morning, through to the evening hours," Kahler told ABC2.
Since releasing the original story and photos, numerous other victims have come forward.
Right now detectives are asking for any assistance in identifying any of the individuals pictured and encouraging any other victims to come forward.
Anyone with information is asked to call Detective Yeagy of the Harford County Sheriff’s Office at 410-612-1718. All information will be kept strictly confidential.
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