Police: Man enlists kids to pickpocket at Chuck E. Cheese's

Published On: May 05 2014 04:15:27 AM HST   Updated On: May 06 2014 03:14:03 AM HST
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Police are investigating a man who allegedly enlisted three children under 10 to help him steal dozens of purses and diaper bags from unsuspecting parents at a children's restaurant in Washington.
During the past few months, officers were dispatched to numerous reports of thefts at restaurants in Thurston and Pierce counties, officers said. Many of the thefts occurred at the Chuck E. Cheese's restaurant in Olympia.
According to the Olympia Police Department, police obtained video surveillance from the restaurant that showed a man in his 40s directing three young children to steal unattended property and bring it to him in the restroom. The man and children would leave the store after removing the credit cards from the bags.
On Wednesday, police were called to Chuck E. Cheese's after an employee reported the same man was in the restaurant and was again directing kids. The man left before police arrived, but police stopped his car a short distance away.
Police said the 34-year-old man was arrested on an outstanding felony warrant and on suspicion of forgery and burglary. A woman and three children — ages 7,8 and 10 — were also in the car.
Police believe the man led the children to steal as many as 20 bags at Chuck E. Cheese's, but he had not been charged as of Friday afternoon. They believe he is also responsible for numerous thefts over several months.


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