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Two Philadelphia women arrested in connection with thefts from at least one Panera in Harford

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One of two Philadelphia women who were arrested Friday for allegedly pick-pocketing at a Panera in Aberdeen is also charged in connection with similar thefts at Paneras elsewhere in Harford County, local law enforcement agencies said.

Latisha Rice, 32, and Whitney Ryder, 32, were both arrested Friday afternoon after allegedly using a credit card, stolen at Panera on Beards Hill Road, at the nearby Target, according to Aberdeen police.

After their arrest, Aberdeen police notified the Harford County Sheriff’s Office, which had sought assistance earlier this month about two possible related thefts from Panera Bread stores in Harford County, one in August and one at the end of November, Aberdeen Police Department Lt. Will Reiber said in a news release.

“This is an example of all the local police agencies work together in Harford County and it works,” said Kyle Andersen, a spokesman for the Sheriff’s Office. “We share information among each other to get these bad guys behind bars. In this case it worked exactly how it’s supposed to work.”

All three alleged thefts were at Panera Bread restaurants in Harford County.

A woman reported her credit card was stolen Aug. 23 at Panera on Bel Air South Parkway, then on Nov. 28 a woman told police her credit card was stolen from Panera on Merchant Boulevard in Abingdon, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

Rice is charged in both of those cases, Andersen said.

“These criminals will look for anywhere they can to make a quick buck,” Andersen said. “The places they’ve hit are along the [Interstate] 95 corridor, and it’s not hard to get from Philadelphia to Harford County on I-95.”

The Sheriff’s Office has charged Rice with four counts of charging $100 to $1,500 on another person’s credit card, three counts of theft $100 to $1,500, two counts of stealing another person’s credit card, and one count each of theft $1,500 to $25,000 and attempting to charged $100 to $1,500 on another person’s credit card, according to online court records.

Aberdeen police charged her with theft less than $100 and theft $100 to $1,500, according to online court records.

At about 12:30 p.m. Friday, Aberdeen police were notified that two women allegedly stole a clutch containing cash and other items from inside the purse of a customer at the restaurant. The victim said the suspects had long hair and were wearing baseball caps, according to a news release from Aberdeen police.

Officers searching the area saw a woman fitting the description of one of the suspects — it’s not clear which — exiting a nearby Target, which is in walking distance from Panera. The woman walked through the Target parking lot to the nearby Royal Farms store parking lot, where she got in a car with New York license plates.

Police stopped the vehicle and arrested Rice and Ryder.

The clutch they allegedly stole from inside the victim’s purse was later found discarded in a nearby trash can, police said.

Ryder was charged in the Aberdeen case with theft $100 to $1,500 and theft less than $100, according to online court records.

The Sheriff’s Office is still trying to determine if Ryder is connected to the other two Panera thefts, Andersen said.

Both women are being held without bail at the Harford County Detention Center.

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