The Cobourg Police Service (CPS) encourages the public to take precautions after receiving a report of a distraction theft in Cobourg.
In the recently reported distraction theft, an 89-year-old woman’s wallet was stolen from her purse while shopping after two men and a woman pretended to help her shop.
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 a 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.
As the holiday season is upon us, retail stores, grocery stores, and parking lots become busier, increasing the chances of falling victim to distraction theft. CPS encourages everyone to take steps to help prevent 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 for 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.