A young woman is facing charges in connection with purse thefts – allegedly targeting seniors – at grocery stores in Oakville and Burlington.
At least 47 reports have come in since Nov. 1, 2017, say Halton police, who have been investigating “multiple criminal groups.”
Victims targeted were female senior citizens whose purses and/or wallets were stolen from their shopping carts while the owner wasn’t looking.
In some cases, multiple offenders work in teams to distract the victim, bump their carts or ask for their help in the store or parking lot, say investigators.
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Police have been working with loss prevention officers from the stores to identify the suspects, which resulted in them being positively identified.
The suspect was arrested on Feb. 22.
Brenda Stojkova, 20, of the Czech Republic, and currently living in Brampton is charged with: three counts of theft under $5,000; fraud under $5,000; unauthorized use of a credit card.
She was released on bail and is scheduled to appear in Milton court on April 3.
Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Detective Constable Derek Gray of the 3 District criminal investigations bureau at 905-825-4747 ext. 2344.
Tips can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers “See something, Hear something, Say something” at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS), through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca, or by texting “Tip201” with your message to 274637 (crimes).
Police are reminding residents to keep a close eye on their purses and wallets.
Residents should be aware of their surroundings and be alert for distraction type thefts when shopping in the grocery stores, malls and other retail business.
Residents are reminded to only carry the necessary identification such as a driver’s licence or health card, and should try to minimize this potential loss by leaving their SIN card, birth certificate and passports securely at home.
If you become a victim of a purse or wallet theft, here’s what to do: Contact your bank, cancel your cards, and then call police to file a report.
(Source: Halton Regional Police)