LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Police in Fishers, Ind., have issued a warning about a nationwide crime ring targeting customers at a Panera Bread restaurant.
A woman reported her wallet was stolen at a Panera location in Fishers this month.
The suspects used her stolen credit cards to buy $5,000 worth of Target gift cards.
Investigators said they believe the suspects could be members of a South American crime ring who have been stealing wallets at Panera locations across the country since 2012.
Most of the wallets are taken from purses or large handbags. The thieves work in groups of two or three, use rental cars and dress well to blend in. They target busy restaurants near shopping centers during lunchtime.
Experts say the best way to protect yourself is to keep your purse in your lap, and never hang it on the back of a chair.