Police Warning Residents About Distraction Thefts Targeting Older Adults


Halton Police are warning residents about distraction thefts that have, usually, been targeting older adults in the region.

Police say there have been four reported incidents in Milton and Georgetown where citizens have been targeted in distraction thefts at retail stores.

"A suspect will watch the victim input their PIN at the register," reads a recent Halton Police news release. "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, according to police, commonly use the stolen card at retail stores and ATMs across the GTA.

As a result, the Halton Regional Police Service is warning residents to remain vigilant when making purchases with a credit or debit card involving the use of a PIN number. 

Residents can protect themselves by using the following tips.

-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 at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or through the web at www.haltoncrimestoppers.ca.

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