PARLIER, Calif. (KFSN) --Parlier Police are looking for a trio of unsuspecting thieves targeting family businesses in smaller cities. Officers believe the women are the same group who were on a stealing spree last year.
Two businesses were burglarized this week and the thieves got away with thousands of dollars in cash. The accused women are smooth swindlers according to the victims. They are friendly, likeable and unassuming and their act has them pocketing close to $5,500 in just two days.
Surveillance video from J's Jewelry in Parlier Thursday afternoon shows three women browsing and chatting in the store. The eldest suspect eyeballing one of the clerks purses behind the counter and after 15 minutes the trio left without a dime. Store owners believe they couldn't pull off a burglary since two people were working but the jewelry store captured valuable evidence for police.
"It looks like it's a traveling group of women who target mom and pop shops," Parlier Police Chief Jose Flores said. "A lot of bakeries, a lot of small businesses."
Officers believe the women then went to a bakery and took a money bag with thousands of dollars in it. Police are investigating and trying to get a license plate of the car the women may be driving.
A day earlier, Delia Pacheco was working at her clothing and shoe boutique in Parlier when the same suspects walked in.
"I felt something strange when I saw them the first time, I feel something different," Pacheco said. "But after they got so friendly and talking, I was very comfortable talking to them."
They distracted her by asking for different sizes of shoes to try on. They even bought a pair before leaving the store with her purse.
Alvina Talavera is a business owner who is worried the women will strike again because of who they are targeting and the fact they do not appear, by their looks, to be threatening.
"They seem really humble," she said. "Really humble people, and it's like really friendly so you are not even thinking they would be doing those kinds of things."
Pacheco felt sick when she saw surveillance video of the women Thursday because one of the suspects carrying her stolen purse in last business they were caught on camera.
"I wish I can get my money back," she said.
Police hope they can identify the women who, to this point, have not been identified by anyone. Investigators believe they could be responsible for up to 40 similar thefts from Bakersfield to Sacramento.
At the bakery they burglarized Thursday, officers say the suspects bought an ice cream and bottle of water. If these women are caught, they could face felony charges including grand theft and commercial burglary.