Purse theft in Downtown Fresno

FRESNO, Calif.

But that all changed Saturday, when Valenzuela claims someone stole her wallet while she shopped for groceries at this Food Max in Downtown Fresno.

"I had ATM cards, I had credit cards, a checkbook, gift cards, cash…um a brand new box of stamps. I had a lot in there." Valenzuela says she was putting groceries away in her car, when a man walked up and offered to help.

The man did help but while Valenzuela had her back turned he secretly grabbed her wallet right out of her purse which was still sitting in the shopping cart.

He then left in a black Honda, a car similar to one Fresno police have linked to a string of purse thefts in the area. "In total, we've had five of these that we connect the same suspect to."

On Tuesday, investigators released this video of the person they believe is responsible for the recent crimes.

In the lower left hand corner, you can see the man snatch a woman's purse out of a Southeast Fresno laundry mat.

New video released Wednesday shows the suspect's car exiting the winco parking lot in Southeast Fresno after he unsuccessfully tried to rip a woman's purse from right out under her arms.

"He's looking for unattended victims. They're not paying attention to where their purse is at." Fresno police are now looking to see if Valenzuela's case is related to the others.

If it is, investigators worry the suspect is becoming more brazen, something Valenzuela is concerned about.

"I felt extremely violated. I think that's what bothered me the most is that when something like that happens, you feel extremely violated."

The suspect description Valenzuela gave police does not match the same man seen in the video. But, Fresno police say it's possible he has accomplices.

They warn, women should always keep a tight grip on their purses or leave them locked in the car if possible.

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