CAUGHT ON CAM: Woman warning of scam after wallet’s stolen at Chicopee parking lot

A Chicopee woman said three men stole her wallet in broad daylight.
Published: Nov. 2, 2022 at 3:55 PM EDT|Updated: Nov. 2, 2022 at 5:28 PM EDT
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CHICOPEE, MA (WGGB/WSHM) - A Chicopee woman said three men stole her wallet in broad daylight. Now, she’s speaking exclusively to Western Mass News in hopes of warning other women.

Katherine DiFranco was picking up some groceries at Stop and Shop on Memorial Drive in Chicopee around 11:30 a.m. one morning last week. Once she got into her car to drive away, a man on the other side of the car tried getting her attention.

“He wasn’t even talking. He was just mumbling, ya know,” DiFranco said.

In surveillance video Chicopee Police shared with us from that day, you can see three men circling the parking lot and one of them made a move once DiFranco got into her car. You see him spraying something on DiFranco’s tire and walking away, then a second man came to alert her. Now, while DiFranco is trying to figure out what the man is trying to tell her, the man who sprayed the tire comes back and is seen in the video getting into her car.

“I left the door open, on the driver’s side,” DiFranco added.

Police said a third man, seen in the video, was keeping watch. DiFranco then got back into the car and drove away. An hour later, DiFranco figured out what she just fell victim to.

“My wallet was gone, so right away, I had to make all kinds of calls, but they did use my card,” DiFranco explained.

DiFranco told Western Mass News that the perpetrators racked up more than $2,000 on her credit cards. Now, she’s spent the past week cancelling her cards and trying to clean up the mess they made.

“Terrible. I have a husband at home I have to take care of that’s sickly too. I’ve been running all over. It’s a very inconvenience,” DiFranco added.

Chicopee Police Officer Travis Odiorne told us this has actually happened in other communities...

“They believe Framingham was one of them and also Agawam at this point…We’re not sure if they’re all the same people. However, they are using the same scheme,” Odiorne explained.

We received a video from WCVB-TV where they interviewed the Framingham victim. Odiorne said these criminals seem to be targeting elderly women who are alone shopping. He said it’s important to be alert, even in daylight hours.

“If someone approaches you and you find it odd, just put the window down, talk to them through the window. If they persist you get out, call 911,” Odiorne added.

Chicopee police are searching for the three men involved. Anyone with information is urged to contact the department.