Halton Regional Police Service
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Media Release

Release Date: April 23rd, 2019 - 2:16pm

Originator: D/Sergeant, Ellie Bale, 1 District Criminal Investigation Bureau, 905-825-4747 ext 2415

Contact: D/Constable, Kate Banks, 1 District Criminal Investigation Bureau, 905-825-4747 extension 2468

Location: Milton and Halton Hills


Distraction Thefts Targeting Older Adults

‚ÄčThe Halton Regional Police Service is warning residents to remain vigilant while making purchases with a credit or debit card involving the use of a PIN (Personal Identification Number). There have been four reported incidents in Milton and Georgetown in 2019 where citizens, usually older adults, have been targeted at retail stores. A suspect will watch the victim input their PIN at the register. Another suspect will then stage an interaction with the victim at the store exit or in the parking lot and steal the credit or debit card. Common interactions include a suspect "finding" money on the ground and attempt to return it to the victim's wallet, or a suspect will ask for assistance with directions while the victim is putting groceries away while another suspect opens the victim's car door to steal the credit or debit card. The suspects then quickly use the stolen card at retail stores and ATMs across the Greater Toronto Area.

Police are asking the public to help protect themselves in the following ways: 

-Always cover the keypad when entering a credit/debit card PIN

-Do not leave purses or wallets in vehicles while putting groceries away

-Do not reveal your wallet or purse in a parking lot when speaking with a stranger

Police are asking anyone with further information regarding these types of incidents to contact Det/Cst. Kate Banks at 905-825-4747 ext. 2468 or the on-duty Staff Sergeant at 905-825-4747 ext. 2410.

Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers "See Something? Hear Something? Know Something? Contact Crime Stoppers" at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.