OPP: Elderly woman targeted by grocery store distraction thief
The West Nipissing OPP is seeking a grocery store distraction thief. (Marco Pomella, pixabay.com)
On Saturday afternoon, members of the West Nipissing Detachment of the Ontario Provincial Police received a report of a distraction theft incident at a local grocery store located on Front Street in Sturgeon Falls.
While shopping, the elderly victim was approached by a man requesting assistance to purchase chicken for his grandmother. As the victim answered several of his questions and assisted him, the suspect was successful in distracting her and stole the wallet from her purse.
The male suspect is described as:
- late 30s
- darker skin
- approximately 6’2” tall
- short dark hair
- has an accent
- wearing a navy blue t-shirt and sunglasses on his head
Later that same day, officers received a report that two other female customers had their wallets stolen from their purse at the same grocery store. The suspect again distracted the victims by asking them for assistance.
Police believe the same suspect is responsible for all three thefts and he may have had an accomplice.
The investigation continues and police are asking anyone with information regarding the persons responsible for these thefts, to contact the Ontario Provincial Police at 1-888-310-1122 or their nearest police authority.
Should you wish to remain anonymous, you may call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit information online at www.sudburycrimestoppers.com where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.
Police remind the public and retail store owners to always ensure their personal safety and prevent becoming victims of theft and fraud.
- Be aware of your surroundings
- Guard PIN numbers; don’t keep wallets in a back pocket; keep purses secure and close to your body
- Be aware of a stranger approaching you or trying to distract you
- Report suspicious activity
- Do not feel as if you have to be a problem-solver for anyone who approaches you