Distraction Thieves Target Elderly Couple
(Bradford, ON) South Simcoe Police Service officers are seeking the public’s help to identify two suspects after an elderly Bradford couple was targeted in a distraction theft.
On Monday, September 9, 2019, around 12:00 p.m., an 83-year-old woman and her 79-year-old husband were grocery shopping at a store on Langford Boulevard in Bradford. Two male suspects interacted with the couple at the checkout. One suspect posed as a Good Samaritan by helping bag and load groceries. The second suspect loitered in line closely behind the woman and watched her enter the PIN for her debit card.
The victims left the store but were approached again in the parking lot by the first suspect. Once again, he insisted on helping with the groceries. Then he distracted the victims by waving cash at them and stole the woman’s wallet from her purse on the front seat.
The unsuspecting couple did not notice the wallet was stolen until the next day. By then, several fraudulent transactions had taken place in Bradford.
The suspects are described as:
SUSPECT #1 – Male, 30’s medium brown complexion, stocky build, 5′ 7″, short black hair, burgundy shirt and denim jeans
SUSPECT #2 – Male, 30’s, thin build, medium brown complexion, black, plastic rim eyeglasses, grey/blue sweatshirt with white long neck string and blue jeans
Photos of the suspects are attached.
Anyone who recognizes these men or has information regarding this theft is asked to contact South Simcoe Police Service at 905-775-3311, 705-436-2141 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or leave anonymous tips online at www.crimestopperssdm.com.
Distraction thieves work in teams and often approach victims in stores and parking lots with an offer of assistance for a variety of false pretenses – claiming you dropped cash, your tire is flat or your vehicle has been damaged. While you are distracted, an accomplice steals your purse, items from your vehicle or the vehicle itself.
Be aware of your surroundings
Protect your personal space
Don’t let yourself be distracted
Keep your purse or wallet with you at all times
Shield the keypad while entering your PIN
Don’t leave purchases in plain sight in your vehicle. Lock them in the trunk
Have your keys ready – don’t spend time fumbling for them