The Guelph Police Service is warning residents to be aware of ‘distraction thefts’ occurring in the community.
There have been five recent incidents occurring in or close to large grocery or department stores. In all incidents the victims were females who had their purses or wallets stolen; four of the five were in their 70s or 80s.
In two of the incidents, purses were removed from shopping carts while the victims had their backs turned. In two of the incidents, which occurred at different stores on different days, the victims were approached after getting into their vehicles and told they had a nail or pin in their tire. After inspecting the tires the victims got back into their vehicle to notice their wallets gone.
Another victim noticed her wallet missing after she was approached in the parking lot by a male asking for directions. In all cases the victims’ credit or debit cards were used within minutes of the theft.
In at least one incident it appeared there were five suspects working together. It is unknown at this time whether any of the incidents are related.