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Sunday, 8 May 2011

Police in Detroit are hunting a gang of middle-aged women, nicknamed the "Mad Hatters",

Police in Detroit are hunting a gang of middle-aged women, nicknamed the "Mad Hatters", who they blame for a string of robberies, purse snatching and fraud.
The suspects typically steal a woman's wallet or purse, police said in a statement. Shortly afterward, the credit cards and checks are used at stores to buy merchandise or at banks to get cash.
Surveillance photographs supplied by police show the middle-aged to elderly women wear hats, usually of the floppy, fisherman variety, at the time of the incidents.
Purse-snatching crimes are not uncommon, but what is unusual is the organised nature of the crimes.
"Seldom are there these organised rings doing it, such as this one," Sterling Heights police Lt. Luke Riley said.
The incidents began about a year ago and the most recent incident occurred last week, according to a press release from the Sterling Heights Police Department.
The total value of merchandise and cash stolen could be as high as $500,000, police said. The women stole almost $200,000 from one bank.
Riley said authorities are looking for "at least" five or six women in this group.
Photographs show the person responsible for the theft is not always the one who uses the stolen items to commit the fraud, police said.

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