Police: Serial purse snatcher arrested

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - It's easy to forget about personal belongings, like you purse while your shopping, especially inside a crowded store. Lexington Police say one woman took advantage of that.

Rebecca Kalman was arrested on Friday after police say she was caught shoplifting at the Walmart off Nicholasville Road. "We've connected Ms. Kalman with multiple credit card fraud cases," explains Lt. Dean Marcum with Lexington Police. "Ms. Kalman would steal peoples purses while in stores such as Walmart then use the credit cards to buy gift cards at Meijer, Kroger and other grocery stores or gas stations. Then she'd take the gift cards and pawn them at a local pawn shop."

Police say Kalman is linked to multiple cases throughout the greater Lexington area. "We've been investigating her for a while," explains Lt. Marcum, "she takes advantage of people when their guard is down or when they turn their back for just a second. She watches people and before you know it your purse is gone."

Kalman is charged with six counts of credit card fraud but police say she could face more charges. "We're still investigating Ms. Kalman, she may be linked to other cases as well."

Police say another popular place for criminals to steal purses is from gas stations. "Another situation where people have their guard down, not paying full attention to what is going on around them." Police say many times thieves will get into a drivers car while they're filling up and steal their purse or wallet. "People just need to use common sense and be extra careful when in certain environments. Thieves are going to pray on people when they least expect it so it's always best to be alert and pay attention to who is around you. Keeping your purse on you at all times is just the safest approach."

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