Monday, May 9, 2011

Police hunt gang of elderly 'Mad Hatter' thieves, Detroit - 9th May 2011

Police in Detroit are looking for a gang of elderly-looking women, dubbed the 'Mad Hatters,' who are believed to be responsible for a string of robberies, purse snatching and fraud.

According to police, the suspects typically target a woman's wallet or purse before using credit cards and cheques in local stores or at banks to extract cash.

CCTV photographs supplied by police show the elderly-looking women wearing floppy hats at the time of the incidents in a crude attempt to disguise their faces.

Purse-snatching crimes are not uncommon, but what is unusual is the organized nature of the crimes.

'Seldom are there these organized rings doing it, such as this one,' Lt. Luke Riley of Sterling Heights police said.

The thefts began about a year ago and the most recent incident occurred last week, according to a press release from the Sterling Heights Police Department.

The total value of merchandise and cash stolen could be as high as $500,000, police said.

The women stole almost $200,000 from one bank account.

Lt. Riley said authorities are looking for 'at least' five or six women belonging to the group.

Photographs indicate that the person responsible for the theft is not always the one who uses the stolen items to commit the fraud, police added. Source