Strathcona County, Alta. – Strathcona County RCMP urges residents to be diligent with their personal property as there have been reports of distraction thefts.
The scheme can take many forms including someone claiming your tire is flat, your vehicle is damaged, you dropped money or asking for directions. During this distraction another suspect steals from the victim whether it be a purse, credit/debit cards or jewelry. These incidents of distraction thefts typically occur in parking lots, bank and malls.
Strathcona County RCMP responded to a report of a theft at the Walmart parking lot on June 19, 2019 where the distraction method was used. The victim was approached by a male and female in the parking lot where the male said the victim dropped a twenty-dollar bill and insisted the victim put it back in his wallet. When the victim opened the wallet the male touched his wallet when handing him the twenty-dollar bill. The victim did not notice until later that his debit card was missing and over $3000 was taken from his account.
Police believe that the suspects where watching the victim when he was entering his pin inside the store.
Here are some safety tips to protect yourself:
- Shield your pin when you make a purchase or withdraw cash.
- Be aware of who is behind you and in front of you.
- Make sure people are not in your personal space or looking over your shoulder.
- Pay close attention to your property when someone randomly engages you in conversation.
- Keep your personal items in eyesight while shopping or loading your vehicle.
If you have any information about this, or any other crime, please call the Strathcona County RCMP at (780) 467-7741, or call your local police detachment. If you want to remain anonymous, you can contact Crime Stoppers by phone at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or by internet atwww.tipsubmit.com or by SMS (check your local Crime Stoppers www.crimestoppers.ab.ca for instructions).