Halton Regional Police issue warning after string of recent debit, credit card distraction thefts

A number of recently reported distraction thefts involving debit and credit cards have Halton Regional Police warning residents to remain vigilant when making purchases at retail stores.

Officials with the police’s Criminal Investigation Bureau say there have been “common interactions” in four newly reported cases across the Greater Toronto Area.

The alleged incidents, in Milton and Georgetown, involve a suspect watching the victim input their PIN at the register while another suspect stages an interaction with the victim at the store exit or in the parking lot to steal their bank card.


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Police say a suspect “finding” money on the ground or asking for directions are the common threads in the four reported robberies.

Once suspects have the cards, investigators say they quickly use them at retail stores and ATMs before they are reported as missing.

Police suggest that people protect themselves in the following ways:

  • Always cover the keypad when entering a 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

Anyone with information on any of these types of interactions is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or contact police at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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