Hays antique store among targets of 'interstate bandits'

HAYS, Kan. (KWCH) A Hays business owner looks for answers after thieves steal from her antique shop, getting away with her pocketbook and cards and money inside. This isn't an isolated crime.

Northglen Antiques owner, Sue Bickle, caught the suspects on security camera last month, stealing from the store. the same thieves are suspected in other towns along Interstate 70.

After the crime at her store, Bickle says she feels invaded. The security footage shows Bickle helping what looks like normal customers. That's what she thought she was working with until she noticed that her pocketbook was nowhere to be found.

"I honestly thought I misplaced by pocketbook in the story Sunday night. I took all of Monday looking through the store to find it," Bickle says. "When I couldn't, I called the credit card company to find out they were flagged."

The thieves that came into her store stole more than $100 in cash, two business credit cards and her personal credit card on which they spent more than $5,000.

She decided to watch the security video.

"How they were looking at me, it gives me the creeps," she says.

The video shows one of the suspected criminals circling the store and keeping Bickle occupied while the other looks for her pocketbook.

It was fond weeks later. Inside her checkbooks, Bickle says there ware two credit cards that belonged to someone else. Those cards were reported stolen in Colby the same day Bickle was robbed.

Police say cases like this are difficult to investigate. They believe the thieves took off down Interstate 70 in each case before the crimes were reported.

Since the crime at her store, Bickle installed more security cameras at the business. Police say without a license-plate number on the suspect vehicle, the thieves, referred to as "interstate bandits," may be long gone.