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Posted at 8:11 AM ET, 02/25/2011

Police: Pickpocket pair caught in Va.

By Dan Morse
Dan Morse

Targeting older, female grocery shoppers, a pair of skilled pickpockets stole credit cards from an estimated 50 victims in region over the last 18 months, authorities said Thursday.

The man-woman pair then used the stolen credit cards to purchase thousands of dollars worth of gift cards from stores including Target, Best Buy and Home Depot, police said.

Montgomery police said the pair's "fraudulent conversion of funds" topped $100,000.


Claiborne, left, and Washington. (Montgomery Police)

The scam worked like this: Inside a grocery store, the woman would strike up a conversation with the victim, sometimes about ingredients on a particular product. While the victim wasn't looking at the purse in her cart, the man would slip his hand in the purse and snag her wallet.

"This was a very skilled operation," said Lucille Baur, a Montgomery County police spokeswoman.

During their investigation, detectives identified suspects but couldn't find them. That changed on Feb. 16, when Montgomery County detectives spotted the man in the Hyattsville area, police said. He and his accomplice were arrested a short time later in Fairfax County, according to authorities.

Further charges are pending by authorities in Montgomery County and other jurisdictions, Montgomery officials said.

Montgomery County police identified the duo as Jonathan Sylvester Washington, 50, of the 6600 block of Belcrest Road, Hyattsville, and Tamara Hope Claiborne (a.k.a Tamara Frazier), 40, of the 4100 block of 14th Street N.W., Washington.

By Dan Morse  | February 25, 2011; 8:11 AM ET
Categories:  Dan Morse, Fairfax, Montgomery  
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Next: 14-year-old to be tried as an adult

Comments


What disgusting human beings, if they had any honor they'd commit suicide.

Posted by: kenk33 | February 25, 2011 9:09 AM | Report abuse

While I could not find out anything additional about the predator Washington, I was able to discover that the predator Claiborne AKA Frazier is no stranger to the criminal justice system.

Let us hope that this case holds together, and that both they get the prison sentence they have earned and deserve.

Posted by: jnrentz@aol.com | February 25, 2011 9:56 AM | Report abuse

While I could not find out anything additional about the predator Washington, I was able to discover that the predator Claiborne AKA Frazier is no stranger to the criminal justice system.

Let us hope that this case holds together, and that both they get the prison sentence they have earned and deserve.

Posted by: jnrentz@aol.com | February 25, 2011 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Based upon the criminal justice system in MD these 2 will likely get nothing more than a strongly worded reprimand from the judge.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | February 25, 2011 10:39 AM | Report abuse

They should both be taken out and shot.

Posted by: sthoswiley | February 25, 2011 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Chop their hands off with an axe.

Posted by: Trout1 | February 25, 2011 11:38 AM | Report abuse

A job well done by MoCo law enforcement. These type of people are despicable. Punishment should be harsh, as the effects of this type of crime are devastating. Off with their heads.

Posted by: ANCLvr | February 25, 2011 11:59 AM | Report abuse

I think the white chick was the responsible one. He looks too stupid to be the "brains" of the outfit!

Posted by: TheChampisheretoo | February 25, 2011 1:13 PM | Report abuse

I think the white chick was the responsible one. He looks too stupid to be the "brains" of the outfit!

Posted by: TheChampisheretoo | February 25, 2011 1:13 PM
---------------------------
Or maybe he knew that using a "white chick" wouldn't alarm people, because we all know that "white people" would never steal from anybody.

Posted by: PublicEnemy1 | February 25, 2011 1:21 PM | Report abuse

I seriously want to slap the smirk from her face.

Posted by: JustSaying1945 | February 25, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

JustSaying1945,
It looked to me like she's smirking too...thought it was just me but apprently not.
They should both be very proud of victimizing little old ladies for money. Really shows strong character of both of them.

Posted by: BigDaddy651 | February 25, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

These scumbags took my mother's wallet in Manassas. She's 77 yrs old. They did it at Joann's Fabric Store and were at Target in SECONDS!!! Glad they captured the maggots.

ARGH!!!

Posted by: Laura26 | February 25, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Mr. Cool & his hoe.

Posted by: TaxiDriver | February 25, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Anything to avoid working for a living. ANYTHING. Work is torture to thieves & perps. They'd rather pull out their fingernails & barbecue their private parts than get a job.

Posted by: TaxiDriver | February 25, 2011 4:47 PM | Report abuse

She's 40? Wow...those were some hard years. :-|

Posted by: SamFelis | February 25, 2011 9:04 PM | Report abuse

I hate predators.

Posted by: jnrentz@aol.com | February 26, 2011 12:50 PM | Report abuse

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