Thieves targeting travellers at YVR

The Richmond RCMP are warning the public that travellers are being targeted by thieves at the Vancouver airport.

  • Sep. 18, 2015 12:00 p.m.

The Richmond RCMP are warning the public that travellers are being targeted by thieves at the Vancouver airport.

In a distraction thefts awareness bulletin issued Friday, the Richmond RCMP warned the community to be aware that thieves have been targeting people leaving various financial institutions after making cash withdrawals at the airport.

“The thieves have utilized several methods to distract their victims,” said Corp. Dennis Hwang, Richmond RCMP media relations officer.

They include dropping a $5 or $10 bill on the ground and claiming that it was dropped inadvertently by the victim; damaging part of a vehicle owned by the victim, such as puncturing a tire, in an effort to persuade them to exit the vehicle to survey the damage; spraying paint, ketchup, or spilling a beverage on the victim’s clothing.

“While distracted, the thief will attempt to steal the victim’s wallet or purse from them or from their vehicle,” Hwang said.

The Richmond RCMP Airport Crime Unit (ACU) was successful in arresting a male in conjunction with an investigation of an organized distraction theft group working at YVR and the RCMP are working with fellow law enforcement agencies and partners at YVR to identify and arrest those responsible for these types of crimes.

To help people avoid these thefts the Richmond RCMP offered the following safety tips:

Make an attempt to carry cash separately from one’s wallet or purse.

Be aware of your surroundings.

When travelling be cognizant of your belongings at all times.

Contact the police immediately if you observe anything suspicious.