SAN FRANCISCO (BCN) – San Francisco police are seeking a thief they are calling the “Bluetooth Bandit” because he often wears the earpiece while robbing his victims of their purses or wallets.

The man is wanted in connection with at least eight thefts around San Francisco in which he looks for female victims who have draped their purses on chairs or set them on the floor beside them in restaurants, bars and coffee shops, police said.

He uses his own jacket as a distraction while he steals the victims’ property and has worked with accomplices, mostly female, to distribute credit and debit cards stolen from the victims that were then used to make fraudulent purchases, according to police.

The thief is described as a black man in his 40s or 50s who is between 5 feet 8 and 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighs between 160 and 175 pounds.

He has short hair, is usually well-dressed, and generally wears a Bluetooth earpiece and walks with a distinct “pigeon-toed” gait, police said.

He is wanted for at least eight thefts and is suspected in at least six others, mostly in the northern part of the city. His accomplices are also suspected in crimes being investigated in Sacramento County and Mountain View, and by the U.S. Postal Police.

Anyone with information about the thefts should call the Police Department’s anonymous tip line at (415) 575-4444 or send a tip by text message to TIP411.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)


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