Suspect wanted in wallet theft
University Police Dept. reaches out for student help, talks prevention tactics
Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013
Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 01:10
The Texas A&M University Police Department is searching for information on the theft of a wallet on Oct. 6 from the Student Recreation Center.
UPD Detective Craig Dudley said the main suspect used the wallet contents to purchase about $1,000 in VISA gift cards from two local pharmacies before disappearing.
The suspect is a white female with long hair who is believed to be a Texas A&M student. At the time of gift card purchases, the suspect was wearing a pink hoodie, blue jeans and a Hurley hat.
Dudley said the victim’s wallet was taken sometime between 10 and 10:30 p.m. It is unclear if the suspect was acting alone or with assistance. Dudley said the theft took place when the victim left his things unattended next to the Rec center’s indoor pool.
“On the sixth [of October] the victim was at the Rec center,” Dudley said. “He went into the indoor pool area around 10 p.m. At 10:30 p.m. he realizes that somebody has taken his wallet. Now, he set his wallet down in the stadium seating area, left it unattended, went down with his friends to the pool area and when he got back up to grab his stuff, his wallet was gone.”
Dudley said that approximately 10 minutes later, the victim’s credit card was run at the CVS pharmacy located near the corner of S. Texas Avenue and E. Villa Maria Rd.
“At 10:40, the card was used at a CVS drug store and the suspect purchased approximately $500 worth of gift cards,” Dudley said.
Dudley said the suspect then went across the street at approximately 10:56 p.m. to the Walgreens to purchase $500 more in VISA gift cards. The card also had charges from a gas station and a Jack in the Box.
Dudley said he believes that this is not the suspect’s first credit card scam, because he said she ran immediately to purchase $1,000 in fast cash.
Upon reviewing security footage from the Rec center, no one wearing the suspect’s specific apparel was seen leaving between 10 and 10:40 p.m. Dudley said the suspect either changed clothing or was working with someone else.
Dudley said the best way to prevent on-campus theft is to take precautions.
“My advice to students would be for them not to leave things unattended,” Dudley said. “It’s not uncommon for our property crimes to be the result of students leaving stuff unattended like the victim did.”
In light of the recent theft, the Rec center staff reminded patrons to take advantage of loss prevention resources offered by the Rec.
“Students need to be more cautious about leaving their personal belongs unattended,” said Sikirat Kazeem, assistant director of facilities for the Department of Recreational Sports. “We provide free rental lockers, but many students still tend to leave items out on the courts and/or on the benches in the locker rooms.”
Kelly VonDrehle, communications coordinator for the Department of Recreational Sports, said students should not use obvious locker pass codes and should be aware of their surroundings when programming the lockers.
VonDrehle said students should notify a Rec staff member immediately if they notice their personal belongings are missing.
“Our staff will follow the necessary procedures to assist the student in finding their belongings,” VonDrehle said. “If the missing items are not found, our staff will then recommend contacting the University Police Department.”
UPD urges anyone who might have information to contact them at 979-845-2345.