ABERDEEN, Md. (WJZ) — Aberdeen Police arrested two women for pickpocketing following an incident at a Panera Bread.
Officers were alerted to a theft December 14 at around 12:28 p.m. The suspects allegedly stole a clutch containing cash and other personal belongings from inside the purse of a customer eating inside the restaurant.
Officers responded and began to canvass the area to find the suspects. Officers then saw a woman fitting one of the suspect’s description leaving a nearby Target, which is in walking distance from the theft.
Officers saw the suspect walk through the Target parking lot to a nearby Royal Farms store.
Once there, the suspect entered a parked vehicle with New York registration plates. The officers then approached and stopped the vehicle from leaving the parking lot to investigate.
Detectives were able to identify and charge Latisha Rice, 32, and Whitney Ryder, 32, both of Philadelphia, PA with theft under $100 and theft between $100 and $1,500.
The clutch stolen from inside the victim’s purse was later found discarded in a nearby trash can.
Before this investigation, detectives were aware of cases involving pick-pocketing at Panera Bread locations both locally and countrywide.
In September, detectives received information from the Harford County Sheriff’s Office asking for help to identify two suspects involved in a theft from a purse at Panera Bread.
This information confirmed that Latisha Rice was one of the persons needing identification.
As a result of her arrest, she has now been charged by the Harford County Sheriff’s Office with theft. Those charges stem from two nearly identical incidents occurring at Panera Bread locations in Abingdon and Bel Air in August and November of 2018.