Someone is targeting West Vancouver seniors in their own apartment buildings
Police have released the photo of a man they're hoping to identify in relation to several distraction thefts in West Vancouver.
Alyse Kotyk, CTV News Vancouver
Published Thursday, August 22, 2019 8:04AM PDT
Last Updated Thursday, August 22, 2019 9:04AM PDT
Police in West Vancouver are asking for the public's help after multiple seniors were targeted by distraction thieves.
On Tuesday afternoon, at around 1:30 p.m., a 94-year-old woman was approached by a man in the hallway of her apartment building. The man tried to speak to her and while the victim was distracted, he stole her wallet.
In that same building, which is on Clyde Avenue near 13th Street, an 84-year-old woman was approached by a man also on Tuesday at around 3:30 p.m. The man convinced the woman to let him into her apartment where he stole her wallet.
Then, at around 4:45 p.m. on Waters Edge Crescent near 6th Street, a resident noticed a suspicious man in their building who was trying to talk to residents. He left after being confronted.
The two victims who had their wallets stolen later discovered that their debit and credit cards had been used in multiple fraudulent transactions. It's unknown how much money they lost in total.
Police have released a picture of a man which they hope will help with the investigation. The man is white and is seen wearing a black baseball cap, glasses and a grey T-shirt.
Last month in East Vancouver, police warned the public of distraction thieves targeting a 77-year-old woman. In that instance, a woman forced costume jewelry into the victim's hands and in the confusion, stole her gold bracelet. Police warned that distraction thieves often target elderly men and women who are visibly wearing jewelry.
In March, two Ontario residents were arrested following a series of distraction thefts in South Vancouver.
"Distraction thieves work quickly and use the element of surprise to confuse their victims,” said VPD Const. Steve Addison in a news release. "They’re successful because victims often don’t realize they’ve been scammed until much later."
Anyone who can identify this person or has more information about the West Vancouver incidents is asked to contact Const. Mbaria at 604-925-7300 and quote file 19-10116. To remain anonymous, call 1-800-222-8477.