Purse thief targets working mothers

by: Alison Grande Updated:

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KING COUNTY, Wash. —

Redmond Police say a thief targeted mothers when they took their children to daycare.

The crime spree stretched across King County and detectives believe there are dozens of victims.

According to detectives, Leslie Del Rosario watched mothers go into child care centers without their purses. Del Rosario shattered windows on cars and stole purses and computers, according to court documents.

Brittany Carmichael had her window broken and laptop stolen when she went to pick up one of her sons at Kindercare in Bellevue earlier this month.

"You wouldn't expect them to be so brazen to do something like that when there's other parents around," said Carmichael.

"It scared my kids, that's what really got to me,” added Carmichael.

Within one hour, she says the thieves were already shopping with her credit cards at Factoria Mall.

At La Petite Academy in Redmond an employee had her car window broken and her purse stolen.

Lauren had just moved from Kansas. "Just total shock. I had just moved here. God what am I going to do," said Lauren, a Pre-K teacher at the child care facility.

Police say Del Rosario also stole packages from porches. A homeowner in Bellevue caught one theft on video.

Detectives searched a house in Greenwood and recovered 30 cell phones, 6 laptops, and safes full of credit cards.

Investigators used surveillance to piece together the crime spree. They said like clockwork the suspects would show up on surveillance cameras at stores shopping with the newly acquired credit cards.

Her accomplice, 35-year-old Ryan Neely, is in the King County Jail for identity theft, his bail is set at $50,000.        

Del Rosario, 30, doesn't appear to have a record. Now she's being held on 12 counts of identity theft, 9 counts of stolen property, and theft. She will be in court on Friday.