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Chicago Woman Accused of Stealing Customers' Wallets at Mayfair

Suspect allegedly steals wallets out of two different customer's purses, then takes them to other stores to make big purchases.

A 58-year-old Chicago woman is facing charges after she allegedly stole and used credit cards from two different women shopping at .

Mary Hellen Hightower was charged Friday in Milwaukee County Circuit Court with one count of theft from a person and two counts of unauthorized use of personal identification. If convicted, she faces up to 22 years in prison and $45,000 in fines.

According to the criminal complaint:

On May 8, the first victim was shopping at the mall, and when she got home she noticed her wallet was missing from her purse. The woman contacted her credit card company, which found out three suspicious transactions were placed at a nearby .

Police contacted an employee working at the time of the transactions who identified Hightower via a photo lineup and said she remembered the purchases because she found it suspicious Hightower wanted to buy a case of baby formula.

The second theft took place July 10 while a woman was shopping at , where she felt Hightower brush up against here, then walk away quickly, then soon discovered her wallet was missing from her handbag.

The woman contacted police who discovered Hightower had already made a $550 purchase at .

Hightower is currently out of custody and a warrant has been issued for her arrest.

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