“They were very skillful” said Detective Tim Connolly. “From the video that I saw and the amount of time involved and the distance they covered, they were in and out of the restaurant initially within a minute or two.”
A group of people were eating at Panera Bread last Tuesday when police said the thieves walked in and stole two wallets, then walked out the back door.
The crime took place during the lunch hour and it was crowded in the restaurant. “When I spoke to the victims, gave them descriptions of the people we had seen on video, they don’t remember ever seeing those folks.”
Less than 30 minutes after the wallets were stolen, police explained that the suspects used the two victim’s credit cards at the Target in Buffalo and Amherst and Babies ‘R’ US. They purchased more than $9,500 in gift cards.
One of the victims discovered she was robbed because her bank sent her a text. “Because of the dollar amount involved, that’s why it initiated an alert on her phone,” said Detective Connolly.
Police warn that the suspects aren’t your typical criminals. They believe this may be part of a larger crime.
“There was a similar incident report on the same day in the Town of Amherst” said Connolly. “I don’t know if it’s the same person or perhaps a group of people working together but the incidents are very similar.”
Police need your help to find identifying the suspects. If you recognize the people in the photo or have any information you’re asked to contact the Town of Tonawanda Police at 879-6606.