Christmas shopping in bulk or something sinister?
Missouri police are investigating after at least 100 cellphones were purchased at three Walmarts during the past week, local FOX and ABC affiliates reported.
“Who’s going to order 50 phones for Christmas? Who does that?”
The FBI was contacted in at least two of the cases, though it’s unclear if federal officials are actively involved.
“It’s not right, it doesn’t make any sense,” a witness, who did not want to be identified, told ABC 17 about a sale in Columbia. “Who’s going to order 50 phones for Christmas? Who does that?”
The first reported purchase happened Friday night, when several men bought dozens of phones around 9:30 p.m. at a Columbia Walmart, ABC 17 reported. The men paid in cash, according to a witness.
Then, just before 4 a.m. on Saturday, two men bought about 60 phones in Lebanon, according to KSPR. Police were called and interviewed the men, but did not detain them.
“These people were, they were foreign-speaking,” said Laclede County Sheriff Wayne Merritt, who encouraged citizens to call the cops if they observed odd activity. “You need to take notice. You need to let us know about it, because it doesn’t hurt to check on it. You’re not being racist or anything like that. You’re just protecting yourself.”
The Macon County Sheriff’s Office in a Wednesday Facebook posting said it’s investigating a third “recent suspicious purchase of multiple cellphones.” It was not clear when that incident occurred or how many cellphones were bought. FoxNews.com called the sheriff’s office, but the detective in charge of the investigation was not immediately available.
It’s not yet known if the three purchases were related, but the locales were relatively close together. It would take a driver about an hour to go from Macon to Columbia, and then a little less than another hour to reach Lebanon. The Columbia and Lebanon purchases happened about six hours apart.