PETALUMA (CBS SF) — Petaluma police issued a warning Thursday that a pair of con artists are attempting to scam and steal from drivers at the Washington Square shopping center.

A woman had just returned to her vehicle after going to the bank at the center at 301 S. McDowell Blvd. about 6 p.m. last Friday when she heard a knock on the window.

A man wearing a facemask indicated something was wrong with her tires and the woman got out and found “numerous push pins under two tires,” police said. The man asked if she wanted help removing them.

Police say that while she was distracted with the tires, a second man, also wearing a facemask, was crouched on the passenger side of the vehicle and attempting to open the door, which was locked with the woman’s purse on the seat inside.

A witness approached the woman while this was taking place and the two men ran off.

Police want shoppers to be aware of the scam and vigilant while out shopping, and advise the public to report suspicious behavior.

Anyone with information about the case is asked to contact the Petaluma Police Department at (707) 778-4372.

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