Cst Kevin Goodmurphy
West Vancouver Police are warning the public to be wary of distraction thefts after a senior was victimized in the Caulfeild area of West Vancouver.
The victim was in the parking lot at the Caulfeild Village Shopping Centre at around 1pm on June 29, when he was approached by a male. This male claimed that the victim had dropped cash which he wanted to return.
When the victim opened up his wallet, the suspect was able to remove a debit card without the victim knowing.
The victim was later notified by his bank of suspicious transactions which were then reported to police.
It is believed that the suspect likely watched the victim enter his debit card PIN during a transaction in a nearby store moments prior to the distraction theft.
“Distraction thieves work quickly and often target vulnerable people such as seniors, who may be more easily confused,” says Constable Kevin Goodmurphy. “Unfortunately the victims don’t realize that they’ve been targeted until much later which is usually too late.”
The suspect in this case is described as a dark-skinned male, 30-40 years old, with short black hair, wearing glasses, a white button up shirt, and tie.
Police believe that this suspect may be linked to another distraction theft in the same area, using the same method, almost one year ago.
Police are advising people to protect their PIN while making purchases with cards, and to not permit anyone they do not know into their personal space. If the situation escalates, they should draw attention and call 9-1-1 immediately.
If anyone can identify this suspect, or if they have any other relevant information, they are asked to contact West Vancouver Police at 604-925-7300. If you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or www.solvecrime.ca.