It took some serious slithering, but Anthony Johnson was able to steal as much as $70,000 a week from unsuspecting movie-theater patrons.

According to an accomplice who turned on him, Johnson would purchase a ticket for a movie that women were likely to see. Then he and a female partner would crawl around on the floor of the dark theater, plundering the purses sitting at the ladies' feet.

He would take things like iPhones and sunglasses, which he would sell at discounted prices. But he really cleaned up when he was able to grab an ID and a credit card, which allowed him to collect big money through cash advances at casinos and to make retail purchases. Johnson could score $70,000 in a good week and about $30,000 in a bad one, according to the accomplice.

The FBI, who says Johnson had been doing this since 2007, eventually got involved and began to build a case against the 49-year-old. On Monday, a jury convicted Johnson of seven counts of unauthorized use of an access device, such as a credit or debit card, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. He faces up to 14 years in jail when he is sentenced in January.

[Hartford Courant]