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York Regional Police warns of 'pickpockets' as distraction thefts on rise in Vaughan shopping locations
March 11, 2022

Three people have been arrested and are facing charges in connection to a recent series of distraction thefts at shopping locations in Vaughan.

York Regional Police says there has been an increase in theft reports since the fall of 2021 and into early 2022.

The majority of the incidents involved female victims who were shopping between the hours of 3 and 7 p.m. The suspects stole mainly cellphones and wallets by distracting the victims and then pickpocketing their valuables.

Through an ongoing investigation, officers have determined the three accused people are connected to a larger group of alleged thieves, says YRP.

“York Regional Police remind citizens to be cautious when engaged by strangers in public places,” said a YRP news release.

Police remind residents to be cautious and protect themselves from distraction thefts by following these tips.

- Always be alert and aware of people around you and their actions.

- Keep your valuables in safe and secure locations that would be difficult for someone else to access without your knowledge.

- Call police immediately if you witness any suspicious people or activity.

- Criminals are opportunists. Don’t give them the opportunity to make you a victim of crime.

York Regional Police urge any additional victims of this type of theft or has any information to contact the 4 District Criminal Investigations Bureau at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 7441.