NEWS

Distraction thefts on the rise, police warn

11/08/2014 09:08 EST | Updated 01/08/2015 05:59 EST
York Regional Police say distraction thefts are becoming a major problem in Vaughan, and on Friday released surveillance video of one recent incident that took place in a victim's own driveway. 

Investigators say on Oct. 1 the victim was approached by a lone suspect while in front of her home near Via Campanile and La Rocca Avenue.

Police allege the suspect talked with the victim, placed a necklace around her neck and, in the process, removed a more valuable necklace the victim had been wearing. 

The suspect then left in a white four-door Jeep Wrangler. 

Police say such criminals often work in pairs — with one creating the distraction while the other waits in a nearby vehicle to make a quick getaway. 

There have been 35 victims in Vaughan this year alone, according to Peel Regional Police, who together have lost valuables totalling over $60,000. 

"That's just the replacement value. Some of them have sentimental value and are un-replaceable," said Const. Andy Pattenden.

Police are reminding residents to be cautious when approached by strangers, and to consider concealing valuables, when in public. 

Anyone with information on these incidents can contact York Regional Police 1-866-876-5423 x7441 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

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