Fresno purse theft suspect brings young children with him

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Fresno police are looking for a thief who they say put three young children in danger when he brought them to the scene of a crime and stole hundreds of dollars. (KFSN)

Fresno police are looking for a thief who they say put three young children in danger when he brought them to the scene of a crime and stole hundreds of dollars.

Police have been working on this case for months. They recently got a hold of crucial surveillance video which clearly shows the suspect's face.

Investigators say in mid-November the suspect parked a car outside El Mercado supermarket in Southeast Fresno. Surveillance video shows he got out with three young children, they walked into the store and in under two minutes detectives say he stole $1,400.

"He blatantly comes in, commits this crime with these three small children. They are probably nowhere more than 8 or 9 years old. One of them looks probably about 5 or 6 years old," said Sgt. Mark Hudson with the Fresno Police Department.

Cameras captured a store employee leaving her office to help at the cash register. As she walks away from her desk, the suspect comes through an entrance and immediately zeroes in on the room she leaves.

"He comes into the store and sees that she had left the manager's office. He goes into the manager's office and then steals her purse that is sitting on top of a cabinet," said Sgt. Hudson.

Shoppers are disgusted anyone would use innocent kids this way.

"Their parents didn't teach them right from wrong. Why would you bring your child to steal from a store? That's just showing them it's OK to do that. Go in there and steal," said Sofia Chanquin.

"It is kind of crazy, you know? Who would put their kids in danger if they got caught?" said Jonathan Abdullah.

Detectives believe the thief drove a 1990s white compact four-door car. They're searching for the suspect who is now wanted for grand theft and endangering three young children.

There is a $1,000 reward available to anyone who has information leading to an arrest.

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