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Wednesday, June 1, 2011

"Bluetooth Bandit" on the Lam

Posted By and on Wed, Jun 1, 2011 at 1:00 PM

click to enlarge Don't trust the man with a Bluetooth.
  • Don't trust the man with a Bluetooth.

Police are hot on a case that has all the elements of a compelling caper. The criminal has a distinctive name, a bizarre M.O., and a Keyser Soze-like quirk: He walks off with women's purses -- pigeon-toed.

Police are calling him the "Bluetooth Bandit," because he's always wearing the earpiece device. The well-dressed bandit strolls into cafes and restaurants, targeting women with purses draped on the back of their chairs. He quietly steals the purses and awkwardly tiptoes away.

Strangely, he keeps getting away with the crime.

Police say the Bluetooth Bandit is responsible for at least eight thefts in San Francisco, and suspect he is involved in six other cases. The thief uses his own jacket as part of his charade, which allows him to easily take off with a woman's purse or wallet.

He then spreads the cash, sharing the stolen

credit cards with a network of female accomplices who then go on a shopping spree with the victims' money.

Police describe the bandit as a black man in his 40s, standing 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-11 and weighing roughly 175 pounds. If you spot him in action, call the cops at  575-4444 or "Text a Tip" to TIP411 with "SFPD" in the subject line.

San Francisco isn't the only place targeted by "Bluetooth Bandits." Some robbers wore the earpieces to communicate during a rash of bank robberies in North Carolina between 2006 and 2008.

As they always say, technology can serve for good as well as evil.

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Lauren Smiley


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