On Friday a man robbed customers in supermarkets in Castle Hill, then Rouse Hill, before passers-by subdued and detained him.
About 1.30pm, the man grabbed a woman’s wallet from the shopping trolley she was using in Coles, Castle Hill.
Another man nearby chased the man, but he got away in a waiting car.
At 3.10pm he allegedly took another woman’s wallet at Woolworths in Rouse Hill.
However, another customer called out and shop workers, others customers and an off-duty police officer caught and held him until police arrived.
Nearly all stolen property was recovered and returned to their owners.
Police later charged a 44-year-old Bidwill man with two counts of stealing.
He appears in Parramatta Local Court this Wednesday.
Police are still looking for the getaway car seen in Castle Hill, described as a white Holden Commodore driven by a woman.
They urged anyone with any information to contact Hills detectives on 9680 5399 or Crime Stoppers.