CENTRAL NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — On July 7, it seemed like a regular busy Friday afternoon at BJ’s Wholesale Club in East Syracuse, but a crime was about to occur.

Pat, a Syracuse native, had loaded up groceries in her minivan in the parking lot. She also put her purse in between the two front seats.

She went to return her cart and walked only about 15 feet away from her car and she said, “A young man came up to ask me a question to distract me.”

While Pat was distracted, an older man went into her car and took her wallet out of her purse. She didn’t realize what had happened until she got home, and her bank then called her to report suspicious activity on her credit card.

The thieves had stopped at Dollar General, Michael’s, Pascale’s and more. They would get a $300 Visa Card and make a small purchase, like a soda or a pack of gum.

DeWitt Police have been on the lookout for this pair, who they say returns to Central New York about every four months. They have recently pulled off distract and dash schemes in Chenango, Whitney Point, Marathon and Cortland.

The pair are quick and calculating, but there are things you can do to outsmart them.

“Always lock the car, even if you take one step away,” Pat said. “And don’t put the purse in sight.”