Cobourg Police – Tips About Distraction Thefts

In Local, Police Blotter

The Cobourg Police Service (CPS) is alerting the public after receiving reports of distraction thefts in Cobourg and neighbouring communities.

In one instance reported to police, a man approached a woman in a parking lot of a north-end business and asked her for directions. While the woman assisted the man, another person entered her vehicle and stole her bank and credit cards from her purse.

In another instance, two men approached a woman loading her vehicle. One man told the woman he thought something might be wrong with her tire, while the other man entered the car and removed a wallet from a purse on the passenger seat.

Distraction theft is when someone steals while a victim’s attention is directed elsewhere.

Distraction thieves often work in teams and have been known to approach victims in parking lots, offering or asking for assistance. The suspect may claim your vehicle has been damaged, that you have dropped something, or ask for directions. While distracted, an accomplice steals wallet, purse, or valuables from a vehicle or an open purse or bag over the victim’s shoulder.

In other instances of distraction theft, thieves may steal valuables from an unsuspecting victim while browsing in a store or checking out.

Victims may not realize until later that their property has been taken. Take steps to protect yourself from distraction theft.

• Be aware of your surroundings.

• If someone appears suspicious and randomly tries to engage in a conversation, pay close attention to your property.

• Be cautious if someone offers to help you bag or carry items you have purchased.

• Always lock your vehicle doors.

• Keep your purse or wallet secured and with you.

• Keep your personal items within your eyesight while shopping, and do not leave any items unattended.

• Lock purchases in the trunk of your car. Do not leave them in plain sight.

• Have your keys ready – don’t spend time fumbling for them

• Report any suspicious activity to police.

If you realize that you have been a victim or witness of distraction theft and the suspect is still there or in sight, call 9-1-1 immediately

Pete Fisher
Author: Pete Fisher

Has been a photojournalist for over 30-years and have been honoured to win numerous awards for photography and writing over the years. Best selling author for the book Highway of Heroes - True Patriot Love

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