Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety officials have arrested three women who allegedly worked together to rob other women working alone at locations across Santa Clara County by distracting them, public safety officials said Tuesday.

Melissa Larsen, 20, Madeline Amelia Lopez, 19 and Julia Marie Peruzzi, 18, were all arrested on 11 counts each of suspicion of burglary and 9 counts each of identity theft, according to Capt. Shawn Ahearn.

Public safety officials said the crimes were committed in Sunnyvale, Cupertino, Los Gatos, Palo Alto and Santa Clara. Larsen was arrested on Thursday and Lopez and Peruzzi on Friday, according to court records.

The three women would target other women working alone, particularly real estate agents at open houses and women working by themselves at convenience stores. One of the suspects would create a diversion to distract the employee. At that point, one of the other women would steal cash and/or credit cards from the victim’s purse as she was being distracted.

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