The VPD has received three reports of distraction thefts that have resulted in thousands of dollars being stolen from elderly victim’s bank accounts.

The incidents occurred on March 2nd and 3rd at grocery stores on Vancouver’s West
Side: City Square, Oakridge Mall, and West Broadway at MacDonald Street. Suspects
watched as elderly customers used their debit cards to make a purchase, taking note
of their PIN as they punched it into the keypad.

Once outside, the suspect made contact with the victim, chatting with them, and
sometimes hugging them, as their accomplice secretly removed the victim’s wallet
from their bag, walker, or jacket pocket. They took out the financial card and
quickly returned the wallet to the victim’s pocket. It wasn’t until later that the
seniors discovered money had been taken from their accounts.

The men and woman targeted ranged in age from 82 to 97.

The suspects were described as Suspect 1: White male with darker skin, 25- to 30-years-old, 5’10” to 5’11” tall, medium build, wearing a white and black camouflage ball-cap and black shoes and Suspect 2: White male with darker skin, 30- to 40-year-old, 5’9″ tall, stocky build, wearing a black toque, black jacket, and black track pants with white stripes down the legs.

The Vancouver Police Department would like to remind the public of the following tips:
* protect your personal space
* make sure no one is around you when entering your PIN into keypads
* be loud if you need help – don’t be afraid to shout or yell
* protect your belongings
* don’t hesitate to call police if you need assistance

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