Langley thieves distract with young child

Thieves are targeting Langley seniors for thefts, and they’re using a baby as a prop in their distraction attempts.

As Senior’s Week was winding down across the province, the Langley RCMP warned elderly residents that a man and a woman have started stealing from them.

The scheme begins at grocery stores, where the male suspect is thought to be selecting potential victims. The suspect follows the elderly person to their home, and is then joined by a woman.

The woman often has a baby with her, said Const. Craig van Herk, a spokesperson for the Langley RCMP.

The scammers then approach the victim asking for water for an overheating car, or even warm water to heat up their baby’s bottle.

When the victim goes inside to get some water, they steal a wallet or purse and vanish.

“It is difficult to measure the negative level in which some very unsavoury people will stoop,” said Insp. Murray Power, the operations support officer for the Langley RCMP. “For non-violent offences, these incidents rank as very disturbing. To be covertly invading the homes of our seniors for the purpose of stealing is reaching the lowest of levels. These thieves have captured the attention of police and investigations will be actively pursued.”

Officers are trying to track down the man and woman involved in the distraction thefts.

“We would like very much to identify who these individuals are,” said van Herk.

Meanwhile, officers and auxiliary RCMP members will be visiting stores and talking to clerks, asking them to be on the lookout for the couple. Seniors are also urged to be mindful about people who approach them with such stories immediately after they arrive home.

The Langley RCMP Crime Prevention Unit is available to meet with all members of the community, in particular seniors or their caregivers, to teach them how to recognize a potential criminal situation and how to reduce risks of becoming a victim.

Staff within the unit can provide tips for:

• personal safety on the street,

• home security,

• identity theft,

• fraud protection,

• home renovation fraud,

• public utility imposter scams,

• telemarketing scams,  

• medical frauds, and

• Nigerian letter scams.

If you would like to arrange for a presentation, call the Langley RCMP at 604-532-3212.

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