Police: 'Professional' crew of thieves targets purses

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Police are warning women across metro Atlanta to be mindful of their purses in public and at restaurants after surveillance caught a brazen crew using slick methods to target a woman's pricey designer handbag.

Investigators call the men a "professional" crew that they believe has struck elsewhere across the area, donning nice clothing as they enter into an upscale establishment for their crime.

"We believe it's women they're choosing to prey on," said Officer Ted Sadowski, who pointed out how two men were prepared for their heist: he said surveillance from inside downtown Duluth restaurant Nacho Daddy shows the men enter with a backpack, pull out a black sweater, then use the sweater to quickly grab and conceal the bag. The thieves took off with the $3,000 Louis Vuitton handbag.

The crime happened in under a minute, and the victims did not notice until several minutes later.

"This crime for women can obviously happen fairly quickly," Sadowski said, advising women to tether their purses to a chair, arm, leg or handle under a bar table; a purse is also more secure when placed on someone's lap.

Investigators said one of the thieves was spotted using the victim's credit cards at a Best Buy to purchase a Mac Book. Anyone with information on the men is asked to call Duluth Police or Crime Stoppers at 404-577-TIPS.