Cobourg Police – Distraction Thefts

In Police Blotter

The Cobourg Police Service (CPS) encourages the public to take precautions after receiving seven (7) reports of distraction thefts in Cobourg over the last six weeks.
Examples of distraction tactics used by thieves in the recent reports to police include:

• Engaging in unprompted conversation with the victim.

• Asking for directions from the victim.

• Claiming there is vehicle damage that requires the victim’s attention.

• Helping the victim into their car or helping load the vehicle.

In six of the recent reports of distraction theft, women between the ages of 55 and 77 were targeted.

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. They may also offer to help load your car. 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.

• Be aware if someone is standing too close in a store or checkout line.

• Always lock your vehicle doors, even when you exit just of a moment.

• 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.

Report distraction theft to the police. If the suspect is still there or in sight, call 9-1-1 immediately. Please share this information with friends and family

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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