More than 170 charges laid in York distraction thefts over seven-week period
A York Regional Police cruiser is seen in this file photo. (File)
TORONTO -- Police have laid more than 170 charges in connection with distraction thefts in York Region since October.
York Regional Police’s Criminal Investigation Bureau began a seven-week enforcement and education initiative targeting distraction thefts on Oct. 14.
During the seven-week period, officers identified 27 suspects and arrested 14 of them.
Warrants were issued for the remaining suspects, police said.
In total, investigators laid 176 charges and recovered more than $8,000 worth of stolen items.
In a news release issued Friday, police warned citizens to “be cautious” and employ the following safety tips:
- Be cautious engaging with strangers in public, especially if they offer jewelry or gifts
- Conceal your wallet, mobile devices and jewelry.
- Keep an eye on your bag
- Avoid carrying large quantities of cash and be mindful of people watching you at the bank
- If you witness suspicious people or activity, contact police
- If your credit card is stolen, cancel them immediately and then contact police
“Criminals are opportunists,” the news release said. “Don’t give them the opportunity to make you a victim of a crime.”
Police are urging anyone who believes they may have been a victim of a distraction theft to contact investigators or reach out to Crime Stoppers anonymously.