Cheyenne Police say they are investigating a series of "distraction thefts" targeting local residents.

At least 30 such incidents have occurred in Cheyenne since 2021, according to a news release. The thieves are targeting wallets, and what they are doing with the contents of the wallets is under investigation.

The local cases reflect a recent national trend.

According to CPD spokeswoman Alex Farkas, in Cheyenne the distraction theft scheme typically features several suspects who enter a grocery or retail store looking for a victim.

The local thefts have all targeted white females over the age of 55, shopping alone with an open purse or wallet in their shopping cart. A man or woman approaches the victim, asking questions about where to find items in the store. The questioner often has an accent, according to the news release.

While the shopper is distracted a second person, who may be a male or female, steals the wallet or purse and leaves the store and everyone involved in the theft get back in their vehicle. In one Cheyenne theft on March 28, the thieves used personal information stolen from a victim to buy items from a local business.

A suspect in that theft is shown in the photo attached to this article. Anyone who recognizes the suspect is being asked to contact detective Fernandez at (307) 633-6638 or

Cheyenne Police say the suspects in recent local cases have been multiple white or Hispanic males and females, often wearing white or black hats and cross-body type purses.

The release offers the following advice to potential victims:

✔️If you are victimized, dial 9-1-1 immediately and give a detailed description of the thief or thieves – the height, weight, facial hair, tattoos, etc. Also, notify management if you are near a business and your bank and credit card companies.
✔️ If you carry a handbag when shopping, use one that has a zipper or snap-flap closure.
✔️ Never let your bag out of your sight, especially when it’s in a shopping cart. If you turn away from your shopping cart for any reason, pick up your handbag and secure it in front of you.
✔️ A large carabiner clip can be used to secure the purse to your shopping cart.
✔️ If you see suspicious activity while shopping report it to store employees.

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