A woman in her late teens or early 20s who has visited two schools and two businesses offers to help, but helps herself to what she can find in purses, Garner police say.
They said the woman, believed to be between 16 and 21, says she is a volunteer or is taking part in an internship.
Once she is admitted, police said, credit cards, phones and cash begin to disappear from purses.
The first crime was reported Sept. 29, and the most recent was Wednesday, police said.
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The woman is black, wears her hair pulled back and wore glasses at least one time.
Police said she may drive a green, four-door car.
Police asked anyone with information or who thinks they recognize the girl, seen in a school security video, to call them at 919-772-8810.