Thieves may be targeting diners at restaurants, cafes in Bloor-Annex, police say
CTV News Toronto
Published Thursday, January 10, 2019 9:11AM EST
Toronto police are warning the public about a pair of alleged thieves who appear to be targeting restaurants and cafes in the city’s Bloor-Annex neighbourhood.
Gulay Kilicaslan was dining with friends at Future Bistro near Bloor Street and Brunswick Avenue at around 6:45 p.m. on Saturday when her laptop, tucked in a bag on the floor near her chair, suddenly disappeared.
“When I was about to leave I held my bag and I was like, 'What happened to my bag?' Because it was lighter than before,” she told CTV News Toronto.
Along with her laptop, Kilicaslan said her iPad, social insurance card, and permanent residency documents were missing.
The PhD student asked to see the restaurant’s video surveillance footage and was shocked to see two people steal her items in what she described as a “professional job.”
In the video, a man sits down at the table behind Kilicaslan and her friends and is eventually joined by a woman. As the woman sits down, the man appears to reach behind him and pull her bag toward him.
He appears to reach into the bag, removes the laptop and hands it to the woman under the table. The man then pushes Kilicaslan’s bag back toward her slightly with his foot.
The pair leaves the restaurant soon after -- the woman first and then the man.
“I was kind of blaming myself before I watched the video,” she said. “This is not just my fault. Obviously they are professionals and organized and they know each other.”
Kilicaslan said she took the video to police and filed a report.
By Thursday, police had released additional images of two suspects they believe are responsible for the missing items.
Investigators believe the man and woman visit coffee shop or bistros on Bloor Street West in the evenings, around 5 p.m. and 7 p.m., to seek out diners whose bags have been placed out of their view.
“It is believed there could be additional victims of these thefts in the Bloor Street West and Annex area,” police wrote in a release
The woman has been described as being in her mid-twenties to early thirties, between five-foot-three and five-foot-five, with a medium build and straight light brown hair, possibly with highlights.
She was last seen wearing a glitter-covered or sequin hat, a black jacket, black pants, black winter boots, and carrying a side bag.
The man has been described as being in his mid-thirties to early forties, between five-foot-six and five-foot-eight with a medium build. He was last seen wearing a black toque, a blue bubble-style jacket, black pants, and black shoes.
Police are urging restaurant patrons in the area, or otherwise, to keep bags and belongings in their sight at all times.
Anyone who recognizes the people in the pictures provided is being asked to contact Toronto police or Crime Stoppers anonymously.