Local News

Police: Ladies, Watch Your Purses

Posted September 21, 2007 6:26 p.m. EDT

— Ladies, watch your purses. That was the warning Friday for shoppers in Raleigh and Durham.

Police say a quick moving thief has been after bags, wallets and the money inside.

At first glance, Tammy Walker looks like any other customer in surveillance video. However, police call her a stalker and a thief.

In the video, Walker can been seen apparently sizing up her victim. Then, detectives say, she boldly snatches a woman's wallet right out of the shopping cart.

Police say Walker, also known as Tammy Gabriele, has hit gas stations, grocery stores and discount shops. Last month, officers said they believe Walker stole an 88 year old woman's purse and then used the woman's credit card to rack up a bill at a local liquor store.

Police believe Walker has expanded her operation. They think she's now targeting women at Brier Creek. Durham detectives say Raleigh police are investigating at least four incidents at the shopping center. They think Walker hit again at the Brier Creek Target.

Walker has a history of petty crimes, according to police. Authorities said they believe she's stealing cash and credit cards to support her drug habit.

So far, Walker is a suspect in more than a dozen Durham cases. Anyone with information about the cases is asked to Durham Crime Stoppers at 919-683-1200.