Authorities asked the public Wednesday for help in identifying a man suspected of stealing high-end cellphones from three Radio Shack stores in San Diego in recent weeks and making a failed attempt to repeat the crime a fourth time.

Surveillance images show a suspect who authorities say stole high-end cellphones from Radio Shack stores in San Diego. Photo by San Diego County Crime Stoppers.

The thief, images of whom were captured by surveillance cameras at the businesses, pulled off the crimes by asking to look at iPhones and then walking off with the devices when clerks became distracted, according to police.

The thefts occurred at shops in Grantville, City Heights and Ocean Crest over a six-day period beginning Feb. 16. The losses amounted to three Apple mobile phones valued at $600 each.

On March 11, the same man entered a Radio Shack in Clairemont Mesa and again asked to see an iPhone. The suspect left when the manager, aware of the earlier thefts, asked him for identification, police said.

Anyone with information on the case was asked to call San Diego County Crime Stoppers at (888) 580-8477 or contact the agency online at Tipsters may remain anonymous and could be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

–City News Service