Authorities searching for distraction thieves in Pasco who stole 33 cell phones from Sam’s Club

PASCO COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Pasco County detectives want to identify a group of distraction thieves that stole over 100 cell phones from three different Sam’s Club stores on Sunday.

Investigators said they snatched 33 cell phones from the Sam’s Club on State Road 56 in Wesley Chapel around noon.

“It’s obvious from the video they all worked in concert and distracted the clerk,” said Sgt. Zak Arey, with the Pasco Co. Sheriff’s Office.

The group worked quickly, while one of the female suspects kept the employee’s attention.

“At the kiosk for the phones, one of the males acted as a look out and forced entry into the kiosk,” said Arey. “One of the females that was wearing a skirt, loaded 33 cell phones into the skirt.”

Deputies said the loss is estimated close to $24,000.

Detectives said the group also had children with them.

“It’s very sad that these children have the most influential people in their lives teaching them these kind of lessons,” said Suletha Hosey, a Sam’s Club customer.

Authorities believe the same group is tied to two other thefts at Sam’s Clubs in Clearwater and Pinellas Park.

Those locations were also robbed of cell phones on Sunday, hours after the robbery in Pasco.

“There’s roughly 110 phones between the three stores, valued at about $90,000,” said Arey. “They were very organized with the event that took place and it would appear as though that it was either a repeated event or well-rehearsed event.”

Please call 1-800-706-2488 if you have any information regarding the thefts.

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