The Morris Police Department has cracked the case of a pickpocket targeting shoppers at local stores.
On Wednesday, the Morris PD arrested Imogene Higgins, 70, of Chicago on charges of continuing financial enterprise, a class 1 felony. The Morris Police Department was assisted by The Minooka Police Department, Grundy County Sheriff’s Office and the Grundy County States Attorney’s Office. Also arrested was Cynthia Stewart, 65, of Chicago for unlawful use of credit card, a class 2 felony and aggravated identity theft, a class 2 felony.
Higgins was arrested for allegedly engaging in three thefts in Morris where contents of a purse were taken. Those thefts were reported at Jewel, Walmart and Aldi, occurring between May 25 and July 6.
In mid-July, Morris police issued a public alert to be on the lookout for a pickpocket operating in the area with a partner waiting in the parking lot.
The pickpocket was accused of targeting female shoppers, usually in the produce section. After stealing credit cards, the suspect used them at Walgreens, according to police.
A video of one incident was made available to the public via the MPD Facebook page.
On July 30, MPD responded to Walmart for a theft in progress. The suspects left in vehicle which was stopped shortly after by the Minooka Police Department just east of Minooka on Interstate 80.
The occupants of the vehicle were identified as Higgins and Stewart. After a brief investigation both Higgins and Stewart were arrested and transported to the Grundy County Jail to await a bond hearing.
Thanks to an alert citizen the theft on Wednesday was prevented and subsequently two arrests were made preventing further thefts, police said in a news release. The investigation is still ongoing and more charges may be filed at a later date.
The police continue to remind shoppers to carry purses and bags close to their bodies and zippered, and report suspicious activity to the police or store employees.