Man sneaks into classrooms, steals teachers' credit cards

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Surveillance picture of a suspect in a store where police say he used a credit card stolen from a teacher's purse while she was out of the classroom during recess. By Mike Gertzman Surveillance picture of a suspect in a store where police say he used a credit card stolen from a teacher's purse while she was out of the classroom during recess. By Mike Gertzman
Surveillance picture of a suspect in a store where police say he used a credit card stolen from a teacher's purse while she was out of the classroom during recess. By Mike Gertzman Surveillance picture of a suspect in a store where police say he used a credit card stolen from a teacher's purse while she was out of the classroom during recess. By Mike Gertzman
Surveillance picture of suspect in a store where police say he used a credit card stolen from a teacher's purse while she was out of the classroom during recess. By Mike Gertzman Surveillance picture of suspect in a store where police say he used a credit card stolen from a teacher's purse while she was out of the classroom during recess. By Mike Gertzman

MESA, Ariz. -- Mesa police are searching for a man who has been stealing credit and debit cards from teachers' purses and wallets while the teachers are out of their classrooms.

According to a spokesperson for the Mesa Police Department, the suspect has walked onto school campuses in east Mesa. He targets classrooms when the teacher is out and finds purses and wallets often left under the teachers' desks.

The male suspect takes only credit and debit cards and uses them a short time later at nearby businesses.

In two of the incidents, the suspect was actually approached by a teacher and asked why he was on campus. The suspect responded by making an excuse about looking for his child or the office. When given directions, he would act as though he was going to the office and then leave the school.

The suspect has been captured by surveillance cameras several times using the stolen credit cards. He's described as a white male in his late 30s to early 40s with blonde hair, balding in front, approximately 6 feet 4 inches tall to 6 feet 6 inches tall and 230 to 250 pounds. He has been seen wearing red and black Titleist brand baseball cap, black sunglasses, and a black and white short-sleeved pullover.

Mesa police released surveillance photos of the burglary suspect and are asking for the public's assistance identifying him. Anyone with information on the case is asked to call the Mesa Police Department at 480-644-2016 or Silent Witness at 480-WITNESS (480-948-6377).