Man pretends not to speak English, robs mother in grocery store

A Florida woman told police her wallet was stolen by a man pretending not to speak English and asking for help inside a Publix store. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

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A Florida woman told police her wallet was stolen by a man pretending not to speak English and asking for help inside a Publix store. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Investigators in Florida believe thieves might be targeting women in local grocery stores by pretending they don't speak English and asking for help.

According to ActionNewsJax.com, a woman in St. Johns County told police she was shopping at Publix when she noticed that she kept running into the same woman in the shopping aisles.

A few minutes later, she said, a man asked her for for help with tortillas.

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“He gets me to turn away from my cart. He’s pointing to it and acting like he doesn’t speak English,” said the victim, who asked not to be identified.

She told ActionNewsJax.com that when she went to pay for her groceries, her wallet was gone. Within 45 minutes, police said someone charged $4,000 to her card at a Best Buy store in Jacksonville.

According to the police report, the suspects were captured on surveillance video approaching several women before targeting the victim.

“As I’m watching on camera, they’re basically following me through the store, but I didn’t know that because I’m focusing on getting the things I need,” she said.

Ken Jefferson, a crime and safety expert told WJAX that shoppers, especially women, should strap their bags to their shopping carts to protect their valuables.

“They’re looking at you, looking at what type of bag you have,” Jefferson said. “They’re looking to see if you have children with you, or (if you’re) alone.”

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