York Regional Police are urging residents to keep bags with personal belongings within their line of sight after releasing images of two men wanted in connection with a distraction-style theft at a Markham restaurant.
The incident took place on the patio of a restaurant at Hwy. 7 East and Woodbine Ave. on Wednesday, Sept. 25 and was captured on video surveillance. Two suspects were seated behind the victim. One reached into a purse slung over the back of the victim’s chair, removing her wallet and tucking it into the waist of his jeans under his shirt.
Both suspects are described as white, with one wearing a Vegas Golden Knights cap and the other wearing a Toronto Maple Leafs cap. The video can be viewed at https://youtu.be/FnIRzE7fSvg.
That incident is one of several distraction-style thefts recently reported to police. In other incidents, unknown suspects approached victims unexpectedly and placed fake jewellery around their necks, wrists or fingers while removing valuable jewellery the victims had been wearing. The suspects then leave, usually in a waiting vehicle, and only later do the victims realize their jewellery was stolen. The suspects often target elderly or vulnerable people and act friendly and outgoing while distracting the victims during the thefts.
Police also remind residents to conceal their wallet and mobile devices while in public. Consider concealing or even hiding valuable jewellery while in public and then putting it once you arrive at your destination. Other tips: be cautious engaging in conversation with strangers who approach you in public, especially if they offer jewellery or gifts or try to engage in physical touch. Try to avoid carrying large quantities of cash and be mindful of people watching you at banks or bank machines.
Anyone with information is asked to contact #5 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7545. Or, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-tips or leave an anonymous tip online at www.1800222tips.com.