Ottawa: Distraction Thefts in Parking Lots

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The Ottawa Police and Crime Stoppers are seeking the public’s assistance with the identity of individuals involved in distraction thefts.

In the past month there have been several incidents of distraction thefts reported where the suspects would approach the victim after they’ve visited a banking institution or a retail store. The suspect would approach the driver once they are inside their vehicle and advise they have a flat tire on the rear right side. Signs of push pins/tacks were observed on the ground then the suspect would offer assistance with changing the tire. The suspect would then direct the driver to pick up the push pins while a second accomplice would enter the vehicle and steal the driver’s purse and other valuables.

In two incidences the victims observed the suspicious persons in the area and provided the following description.

–          Possibly Asian/native male

–          Short male approx. 5’5”

–          40yrs of age

–          Poor English

–          Wearing a baseball cap

If you encounter a similar scenario you should BE WARY of a possible distraction theft and take the necessary measures.

  •  Make note of their physical appearance and clothing description for the police
  • If you do not feel safe, remain in your vehicle and call for assistance (police)
  • If you don’t have a cell phone you may remain in your vehicle until the suspect leaves or exit when it is safe and head to the nearest place of safety for assistance.
  • If you need to exit your vehicle do not leave your purse or valuables unattended and immediately lock your car door

Anyone with information is asked to call the Ottawa Police  613-236-1222,or call Crime Stoppers toll-free at 1-800-222-8477(TIPS). You can follow us on facebook, youtube and twitter. Remember Crime Stoppers does not subscribe to call display, we will not record your call and you are not required to testify in court. If your information leads to an arrest or a charge, you could qualify for a cash reward of up to $2000.