Two women had their wallets stolen from their vehicles during a “distraction theft” scheme at separate parking lots in Saanich over the past few days.

On Saturday, June 4, 2022, at 2 p.m. a woman had just returned to her vehicle with her young child after shopping at Uptown. As she began to drive away from the parking stall, a man knocked on her window and told her there was something wrong with her tire. She got out to look and noticed some thumbtacks stuck in the tire. She then got back into her vehicle and started to drive away when she noticed her wallet, which had been on the front passenger seat, was gone.

A look at the dashcam and surveillance footage from the mall confirmed that two men appeared to have worked together in this theft. While one man distracted the woman, the other man opened the passenger door and stole her wallet.

On Friday, June 3, 2022, at 12 p.m. a similar set of circumstances occurred in the parking lot at Broadmead Shopping Centre, where a woman’s wallet was taken out of her purse while being distracted in the same manner.

Investigators are looking to identify the suspects involved in this theft, as well as warn the public that these thefts are taking place locally. We believe the thefts to be connected, however, we are waiting for further evidence from the incident on Friday to confirm if the suspects are in fact the same.

The images of the suspects were captured from the incident on June 4 at the Uptown shopping centre. Anyone that can identify either of the suspects is asked to call the Saanich Police Department at 250-475-4321 or report what you know anonymously through the Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

“We believe they are watching for women carrying a purse or pack while returning to their vehicle, as they know it will be left unattended inside while they distract them,” said Cst. Markus Anastasiades. “We encourage anyone that has had something similar happen to call their local police to report it. We have seen these types of organized thefts occurring across the country in the past few months and suspect that they will continue.”

File 22-10595 / 22-10528

Cst. Markus Anastasiades
Public Information & Communications Officer
[email protected]

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