Detroit News reports:
A group of older women, wearing hats of various colors and shapes, have stolen money and credit cards from distracted shoppers in four counties, police said Thursday.
Dubbed the Mad Hatters by police, the women then use the stolen checks and credit cards to receive money from banks and merchandise from retailers, said the Sterling Heights Police Department.
Their ill-gotten bounty may approach $500,000, police Lt. Luke Riley said.
He surmised that the genial appearance of the perpetrators is helping them pull off the caper.
Shoppers, banks and retailers tend not to suspect that the grandmotherly woman in a floppy white hat standing in front of them is a cold-hearted crook.
"That's the reason they've been able to get away with it," Riley said.