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Police seek public help identifying Langford distraction theft suspects

Police believe the June 4 incident is related to a similar one in Saanich
The West Shore RCMP is seeking public assistance in identifying two suspects in a distraction theft investigation. (Courtesy of the West Shore RCMP)

The West Shore RCMP is asking for public assistance in identifying suspects in a distraction theft and fraud believed to be related to incidents in Saanich.

Around 1 p.m. on June 4, police received a report of a theft in a retail parking lot in the 800-block of Langford Parkway.

The victim told police that while she was getting into her car in the parking lot, she was approached by a man who said there was a problem with her car tire. While she was looking at the tire, which had sharp object in it, a second suspect entered her vehicle and allegedly stole her wallet.

Her bank card had also been stolen, and money had been withdrawn from her account. Police believe the suspects followed the victim into the store in an attempt to get her PIN.

READ MORE: Oak Bay car theft victim spots car being driven just blocks away

CCTV footage was seized as part of the investigation and shows a man putting something in the victim’s tire and then approaching her window to get her attention.

“We are starting to see an increase in similar distraction theft crimes in neighbouring jurisdictions as well as the lower mainland,” said Const. Meghan Groulx, spokesperson for the West Shore RCMP. “If you are approached by a stranger and you feel it is suspicious or similar to this report, please do not engage and contact the police.”

Groulx said the RCMP is working with the Saanich Police Department as it is believed a similar incident that same day is related.

Saanich police described a similar incident at Uptown around 3 p.m. Police said at the time they were investigating a possible connection to another incident reported as happening on June 3 at Broadmead Shopping Centre was connected.

The West Shore RCMP said the male suspect who approached the victim in Langford is described as having olive-coloured skin, standing around 5’8”, weighing around 160 pounds, and speaking with an accent.

Anyone with information or who witnessed the Langford incident is asked to contact the West Shore RCMP at 250-474-2264. (File # 2022-9317) Or, if you wish to remain anonymous, call Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

READ MORE: Busy parents distracted while shopping in Saanich, wallets lifted

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