West Vancouver Police are seeking public’s help in identifying a man they say committed distraction theft in the Caulfield area of West Vancouver.
The victim, a senior, was in the parking lot at the Caulfield Village Shopping Center at around 1 pm on June 29, when he was approached by a male, who claimed the victim had dropped cash which he wanted to return.
When the victim opened up his wallet, the suspect was able to remove a debit card without the victim knowing. The senior was later notified by his bank of suspicious transactions which were then reported to police.
It is believed that the suspect likely watched the victim enter his debit card PIN during a transaction in a nearby store moments before the distraction theft.
“Distraction thieves work quickly and often target vulnerable people such as seniors, who may be more easily confused,” says Constable Kevin Goodmurphy.
“Unfortunately, the victims don’t realize that they’ve been targeted until much later which is usually too late.”
The suspect in this case is described as a dark-skinned male, 30-40 years old, with short black hair, wearing glasses, white button-up shirt and tie.
The police believe that this suspect might be linked to another distraction theft in the same area, using the same method, almost one year ago.
The police advise people to protect their PIN while making purchases with cards, and to not permit anyone they do not know into their personal space. If the situation escalates, they should draw attention and call 9-1-1 immediately.
If anyone can identify this suspect, or if they have any other relevant information, they are asked to contact West Vancouver Police at 604-925-7300. If you wish to remain anonymous, please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or www.solvecrime.ca.