The Halton Regional Police have made arrests and laid charges against one male and one female in relation to a series of purse thefts in Burlington and Oakville.
Police say between August and October of 2020, the thieves targeted older adult females shopping in grocery stores and retail spaces.
According to police, these thieves waited for the victims to lose sight of their purses and then proceeded to steal them before fleeing the scene.
In two of the incidents, thieves attempted to use the stolen credit cards for cash withdrawals at local banks, police say.
According to police, the estimated loss is projected to be over $10,000 including purses, cash, cell phones, key fobs and personal items.
An investigation by the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau led to the charges against the following individuals.
Zaneta Stojkova, a 39-year-old female from Brampton, was charged with theft under $5,000 (7 counts), fraud under $5,000 (2 counts), the use of disguise with intent and breach of probation.
Rene Stojka, a 39-year-old male from Brampton, was charged with theft under $5,000 (4 counts), fraud under $5,000 and fail to comply with release order.
Police say on December 4, 2020, investigators from Burlington and Oakville executed a search warrant at a residence in the City of Brampton.
As a result, 12 purses, various items of clothing used to disguise, various perfumes, two cellular telephones and $700.00 in Canadian, American and European Currency were seized.
Both Stojkova and Stojka were held for a bail hearing.
The public is reminded to reduce their risk when shopping by only bring their driver’s licence, health card and a few financial cards.
Additionally, they are reminded to protect their personal identification number at all times, use tap whenever possible, don’t let personal belongings out of sight or become distracted while shopping.
Any fraudulent activity on financial cards should be reported immediately to the bank and to the police.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Constable Derek Gray of the Burlington Criminal Investigations Bureau – Older Adult Abuse Investigator at 905-825-4747 ext. 2344.
Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.