Recent distraction style thefts have police warning residents in Oakville, Burlington

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Published January 30, 2023 at 5:21 pm

Halton Regional Police are investigating a couple of occurrences where victim's have had their wallets stolen directly out of their purse while distracted. PEXELS PHOTO

Some recent instances of theft have local police warning residents of distraction style thefts.

Halton Regional Police say they are currently investigating a couple of incidents where people have had their wallets stolen directly from their purse while distracted.

The thefts normally occur when people are out shopping and leave their purses or other personal belongings unattended in shopping carts.

As the person leaves the cart to go look at an item, the criminal will quickly grabs the purse or other belongings. The criminals also work in tandems in an effort to distract the person by one of them asking for assistance, while the other snatches the purse from the cart.

Police recommend shoppers make sure they have an eye on their belongings at all times.

Here are tips to help you avoid becoming a distraction theft victim:

  • Keep your purse or belongings with you at all times
  • Never leave your purse or wallet unattended
  • Keep your purse zippers or snaps closed
  • Leave your birth certificate, passport or SIN card at home
  • Never write down PIN numbers or passwords and keep them in your wallet
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of money
  • Bring only what you need shopping
  • Be extra cautious of your surroundings and crowds
  • Don’t allow yourself to get distracted – criminals work in teams and distract you so they can steal your purse.

To report a stolen purse or wallet, contact the Halton Regional Police Service at 905-825-4747. You can also file an online report at haltonpolice.ca.

Victims of theft are reminded to inform their bank and credit card company of all lost or stolen cards and if your cellphone is stolen, contact your service provider.

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