Four Colombia nationals are now behind bars in the Allegheny County Jail.
Police say Luz Ahida Hernandez Capera, Ana Milena Medina Cruz, Luz Milena Gomez Rodriguez, and Luisa Eduardo Torres Hernandez travelled from New York City to Pittsburgh to steal from shoppers at South Hills Village Mall.
Investigators say they tried to steal wallets and purses, and used the stolen credit cards to make purchases.
People who live in the South Hills were stunned to learn about the arrest.
“I’m really kind of shocked. I haven’t heard of that happening, and I generally feel safe when I’ve been at South Hills Village, or in this community,” Karen Urbanik told Channel 11.
Police say surveillance video caught one of the suspects in action when she reached into a woman’s purse, when it was hanging on the back of her chair at Condado Restaurant.
While the alleged theft happened in the South Hills, the foursome was caught in the North Hills when Ross Township Police pulled their car over.
Investigators say they found wigs, hats, clothes, and all of the women’s handbags had hidden linings to prevent metal detectors from going off.
“That seems like a whole kind of scam. I don’t think I would ever put that much energy or effort into taking something form somebody else,” Urbanik added.
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