PARK SLOPE — Police are on a "steak-out" at Shake Shack.
Plain clothes officers are camped out at the burger chain's Flatbush Avenue location trying to nab a thief who's been targeting customers picking up their food, officials with the 78th Precinct said Tuesday.
They hope to catch a female thief with a distinctive limp who's been swiping purses and bags that diners leave unattended while they pick up their ShackBurgers, the precinct's commanding officer, Deputy Inspector Frank DiGiacomo, said at Tuesday's 78th Precinct Community Council meeting.
In some cases the thief has struck while customers grabbed ketchup or water, police said. She approaches unattended bags or purses, then places her jacket over the item and limps away with her bounty, police said.
She's struck at least five times, frequently after events at the Barclays Center which is across the street from the restaurant, police said.
Overall, major crime in the 78th Precinct has dropped 10 percent this year compared to 2015, according to NYPD statistics. But in the past four weeks there's been a mini spike in grand larcenies, fueled in part by the Shake Shack thefts, DiGiacomo said.
"It seems that near the holiday season, the bars and the restaurants are targets because there's a lot more people in there," DiGiacomo said.
"Secure your property. You think it's a minute going somewhere to go get something, but that minute is an opportunity for these people because they just sit and wait at a location and prey on people leaving their stuff."
Shake Shake did not respond to a request for comment Wednesday.
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