The County Sheriff’s Office is hot on the trail of a pair of apparent grifters suspected of stealing a Templeton woman’s purse in February and then going on a check-writing spree stealing thousands of dollars in merchandise and cash.

According to Sheriff’s spokesman Tony Cipolla, On Feb. 18, “a female victim in Templeton reported a theft of her purse from her house. Besides cash and credit cards, the victim reported her checkbook, which was inside the purse, was also taken.”

On March 6, the thieves struck. “The victim reported someone had used her checks at Costco stores in San Luis Obispo, Santa Maria, Hanford and Fresno,” Cipolla said. “Checks had also been passed at a Bank of America in Fresno. All told, the checks totaled approximately $5,000.”

That total pushed the crimes into felony territory. Police have a good photo of the suspects. “Costco was able to identify the suspect with surveillance photos,” Cipolla said. “The photographs show one male and one female. Both appear to be white and approximately 50-70 years old.” A photo from the Bank of America clearly shows the woman’s face, close up.

He added they might be driving a white, Ford F-150, extended-cab pickup truck, possibly a 2004 model. Sheriff’s deputies put out an all point bulletin (APB) with photos of the suspects sending it to law enforcement agencies and media in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Kings, Kern and Fresno counties.

If anyone has information on the suspects or this incident, call the SLO County Sheriff’s Office at (805) 781-4550.