The Valparaiso Police Department has been investigating several thefts that have occurred while citizens are shopping at area department stores, box stores, and grocery stores. It has been reported that wallets and purses have been removed from shopping carts while inside these various stores, and in many cases, the victim’s credit and debit cards have been utilized elsewhere in a short amount of time. Investigators have identified a suspect in multiple thefts occurring over the last few years, with charges currently pending. However, these types of thefts are often crimes of opportunity and can be prevented by taking proper precautions. The Valparaiso Police Department encourages citizens to keep their personal belongings on their person or in eyesight while shopping. If personal items must be kept in the cart, make sure all openings are secured or consider keeping the smaller items covered or attached to the cart, making them more difficult for a potential thief to remove. The Valparaiso Police Department would like to thank local businesses and community members for their assistance in identifying those responsible for the theft, and further asks that anyone who witnesses any such act contact the police department with information. The Valparaiso Police Department can be contacted at 219-462-2135 or by texting Tip411 (847-411) and entering “Valpo” in the message field prior to sending the message.