Tuesday, 22 September 2015

CPLC Meeting Notes: Distraction Thefts, Passwords and Expensive Purchases

Dear Neighbours,

At the most recent CPLC (Community Police Liaison Committee) meeting last Monday, Police officers at 22 Divison offered a number of friendly reminders for members of our community in light of recent criminal activity in 22 Division. The following information has been made available to us courtesy of our friends in South Etobicoke Neighbourhood Watch.

Distraction Thefts:

D/Sgt. Madelaine Tretter informed us at the CPLC meeting on Monday night that two distraction thefts had occurred in Long Branch on Monday, September 14th. Kindly inform your neighbours and especially speak with your elderly neighbours who are the most vulnerable.

54 Division (and 22 Division) would like to advise the public about a distraction theft that took place last week in the area of Cosburn Ave. and Donlands Ave. in East York. On Friday, September 11th, sometime between 9:00 AM and 11:00 AM, a senior citizen was approached while walking on the sidewalk by a female suspect who had just exited from a vehicle that was driven by a male. The female approached the senior citizen, asking for directions. The female then started admiring the senior citizen’s necklace, bracelet and rings removing each piece of jewellery from her one by one. The female suspect then left the senior citizen some costume jewellery and fled in the same vehicle. If anyone has any information about this crime, please contact 54 Division at 416-808-5400.

Persons that commit distraction thefts are usually part of an organized crime ring who often target one of the most vulnerable members of our society; senior citizens. They often move about the city in vehicles in residential neighbourhoods in search of victims who are wearing gold jewellery. The theft involves a distraction of some sort (asking for directions, telling a troubled story, or offering jewellery in memory of a deceased relative or as a gift). The suspect gets close to the victim by sometimes giving them a hug or taking their hand and at the same time placing costume jewellery on the victim while removing their gold jewellery.

The victim is often left confused and even unaware that they have just been victimized until sometime after the incident. Be wary if a stranger approaches you, engages you in conversation and enters into your personal space. Don’t let your defences down even it is a female or a female with children. This is part of the ploy. For more personal safety and crime prevention tips contact PC Hannah, Crime Prevention Officer at 416-808-5429.

Alert/Reminder about Personal PINs and Passwords:

22 Division’s D/Sgt. Madelaine Tretter would like to remind you that you should NOT use your year of birth or any other easily obtainable number as your PIN or password. With the theft of a wallet containing your driver’s licence and your bank or credit card, a thief can readily use your bank or credit card when you use easy-to-guess PINs and passwords. Most especially, DO NOT write down your PIN or password and then put it in your wallet.

Theft of Expensive Purchases or Gifts:

22 Division’s D/Sgt. Madelaine Tretter would like to remind you to take expensive purchases home immediately after buying them and lock them away. Sherway Gardens is a good example; where purchases from the Apple Store (for instance) are left in the car while shoppers go for lunch or dinner. Upon returning to their vehicle, the owner finds that the vehicle has been broken into and that the recently purchased items are gone. D/Sgt. Madelaine Tretter suggests that you take such expensive purchases or gifts home immediately and then go to lunch or dinner.

If you have seen or heard anything suspicious, please contact the Police.
If you see a crime in progress, please call 9-1-1 immediately.

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