Man recruits kids to pickpocket at Chuck E. Cheese, police say

(Photo: Q13 FOX)

(Photo: Q13 FOX)

OLYMPIA, Wash. — A Washington man allegedly recruited three children under the age of 10 to help him in a series of thefts at a popular kids’ restaurant.

According to Q13 FOX in Seattle, police have responded to a number of thefts reported at restaurants in Thurston and Pierce Counties in Washington over the past few months — several of these incidents occurred at a Chuck E. Cheese in Olympia.

The Olympia Police Department said they were able to get surveillance video from the restaurant that showed a man in his 40s instructing three young children to steal unattended purses and diaper bags and bring them back to him. After the man removed credit cards from the items, he and the three kids would leave the restaurant.

Police were dispatched to the Chuck E. Cheese Wednesday after an employee reported the suspect was in the restaurant leading the children in more pickpocket drills.

While the man left Chuck E. Cheese before law enforcement arrived, police said they were able to stop him in his car a short distance away.

Police told Q13 FOX the 34-year-old suspect was arrested on an outstanding warrant.

A woman and three children, ages 7, 8 and 10, accompanied the man in the vehicle.

Authorities said he may have lead the kids to steal as many as 20 bags from the Chuck E. Cheese.

He has not been charged yet, and police said they are currently investigating the crimes.