Investigators with the York Regional Police #5 District Criminal Investigations Bureau (C.I.B) have laid more than 175 charges in connection with distraction thefts in York Region.
On October 14, 2019, C.I.B investigators began a seven-week enforcement and education initiative targeting the ongoing issue of distraction thefts across York Region.
During the initiative, officers identified 27 suspects. Fourteen of those suspects were arrested and warrants were issued for the remaining 13. Investigators laid 176 charges and following the execution of several search warrants, more than $8,000 dollars worth of stolen items have been recovered.
Any additional victims of this type of theft are urged to come forward.
York Regional Police is reminding citizens to be cautious and protect themselves by following these safety tips:
- Be cautious engaging in conversation with strangers who approach you in public, especially if they offer jewelry or gifts or try to engage in physical touch
- Conceal your wallet, mobile devices and valuable jewelry if it must be worn while out in public. Try to keep your bags with personal belongings within your line of sight
- Consider hiding your jewelry while walking in public then putting it on once you have reached your destination
- Try to avoid carrying large quantities of cash and be mindful of people watching you at banks or bank machines
- If you witness any suspicious people or activity, contact police immediately. We will respond to these calls
- If your credit cards are stolen, cancel them immediately and contact the police
- Criminals are opportunists. Don’t give them the opportunity to make you a victim of crime
Anyone with information on these incidents or if you have been a victim, contact the York Regional Police #5 District Criminal Investigation Bureau at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7545,or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.