Strikingly similar cases of pick-pocketing reported across city

News Sep 25, 2009 Ancaster News

A woman who distracted unsuspecting seniors in Dundas while picking their pockets got some attention from police when she set her sites on Hamilton mountain.

Now it appears the pickpocket has added seniors in the community of Ancaster to her targets, but Hamilton Police have not officially connected the strikingly similar complaints and have not notified the Crimes Against Seniors Unit.

Hamilton Police are investigating several reports of what they describe as “distraction thefts” at Mountain Plaza Mall on Upper James Street last week.

One week earlier, up to three Dundas residents reported the same crime occurring inside at least one grocery store in the Valley Town.

But three different officers could not track down details of the report, nor were they aware of multiple complaints.

This week, an Ancaster senior reported yet another pick pocketing incident.

“I am upset that this is not a high priority with police,” said Rosemary Caco, whose 73- year-old mother was approached by a woman at the Governor’s Road Metro store around 4 p. m. on Friday, Sept. 11.

The suspect reportedly pushed herself against the senior, who was holding her purse under her arm, and asked for help reading a product label.

“Unbeknownst to my mother, she was being pick-pocketed at that point,” Ms. Caco said. “She helped the lady out with her questions and continued on with her shopping. When she got to the checkout she couldn’t find her wallet. It was in there when she left the house.”

Unaware of additional cases

While police said they were aware of the Dundas senior’s complaint, made at the Mountain station the day after she was robbed, investigators did not believe seniors were a specific target and were unaware of additional cases in Dundas.

Last Friday, however, police sent out a press release warning the public seniors were being targeted by a pickpocket at Mountain Plaza Mall.

According to the press release, an 83-year-old woman “was approached by another woman who asked her to assist with reading a label on a product. The victim assisted but was again asked by the suspect to reach for another item and read the label. Hamilton Police believe that the suspect, or someone with the suspect, reached into the victim’s purse and took her wallet while she was distracted.”

Police said the incident took place around 4 p. m., the same time of day a Dundas senior was robbed in the same manner one week earlier.

Ms. Caco was not only upset by what she feels was a lack of interest shown by police when the Dundas incidents were reported, but by the grocery store staff’s inexperience in handling thefts.

“They basically didn’t know what to do,” she said. “You would like to think you are trained in some sort of fashion should this happen in your store. Where was store security?

“There was no compensation for my mother. This was her pension money, her weekly groceries and her independence that was violated.”

Two weeks ago, Ms. Caco said local seniors should be warned they were being targeted by this distraction theft pickpocket.

Strikingly similar cases of pick-pocketing reported across city

News Sep 25, 2009 Ancaster News

A woman who distracted unsuspecting seniors in Dundas while picking their pockets got some attention from police when she set her sites on Hamilton mountain.

Now it appears the pickpocket has added seniors in the community of Ancaster to her targets, but Hamilton Police have not officially connected the strikingly similar complaints and have not notified the Crimes Against Seniors Unit.

Hamilton Police are investigating several reports of what they describe as “distraction thefts” at Mountain Plaza Mall on Upper James Street last week.

One week earlier, up to three Dundas residents reported the same crime occurring inside at least one grocery store in the Valley Town.

But three different officers could not track down details of the report, nor were they aware of multiple complaints.

This week, an Ancaster senior reported yet another pick pocketing incident.

“I am upset that this is not a high priority with police,” said Rosemary Caco, whose 73- year-old mother was approached by a woman at the Governor’s Road Metro store around 4 p. m. on Friday, Sept. 11.

The suspect reportedly pushed herself against the senior, who was holding her purse under her arm, and asked for help reading a product label.

“Unbeknownst to my mother, she was being pick-pocketed at that point,” Ms. Caco said. “She helped the lady out with her questions and continued on with her shopping. When she got to the checkout she couldn’t find her wallet. It was in there when she left the house.”

Unaware of additional cases

While police said they were aware of the Dundas senior’s complaint, made at the Mountain station the day after she was robbed, investigators did not believe seniors were a specific target and were unaware of additional cases in Dundas.

Last Friday, however, police sent out a press release warning the public seniors were being targeted by a pickpocket at Mountain Plaza Mall.

According to the press release, an 83-year-old woman “was approached by another woman who asked her to assist with reading a label on a product. The victim assisted but was again asked by the suspect to reach for another item and read the label. Hamilton Police believe that the suspect, or someone with the suspect, reached into the victim’s purse and took her wallet while she was distracted.”

Police said the incident took place around 4 p. m., the same time of day a Dundas senior was robbed in the same manner one week earlier.

Ms. Caco was not only upset by what she feels was a lack of interest shown by police when the Dundas incidents were reported, but by the grocery store staff’s inexperience in handling thefts.

“They basically didn’t know what to do,” she said. “You would like to think you are trained in some sort of fashion should this happen in your store. Where was store security?

“There was no compensation for my mother. This was her pension money, her weekly groceries and her independence that was violated.”

Two weeks ago, Ms. Caco said local seniors should be warned they were being targeted by this distraction theft pickpocket.

Strikingly similar cases of pick-pocketing reported across city

News Sep 25, 2009 Ancaster News

A woman who distracted unsuspecting seniors in Dundas while picking their pockets got some attention from police when she set her sites on Hamilton mountain.

Now it appears the pickpocket has added seniors in the community of Ancaster to her targets, but Hamilton Police have not officially connected the strikingly similar complaints and have not notified the Crimes Against Seniors Unit.

Hamilton Police are investigating several reports of what they describe as “distraction thefts” at Mountain Plaza Mall on Upper James Street last week.

One week earlier, up to three Dundas residents reported the same crime occurring inside at least one grocery store in the Valley Town.

But three different officers could not track down details of the report, nor were they aware of multiple complaints.

This week, an Ancaster senior reported yet another pick pocketing incident.

“I am upset that this is not a high priority with police,” said Rosemary Caco, whose 73- year-old mother was approached by a woman at the Governor’s Road Metro store around 4 p. m. on Friday, Sept. 11.

The suspect reportedly pushed herself against the senior, who was holding her purse under her arm, and asked for help reading a product label.

“Unbeknownst to my mother, she was being pick-pocketed at that point,” Ms. Caco said. “She helped the lady out with her questions and continued on with her shopping. When she got to the checkout she couldn’t find her wallet. It was in there when she left the house.”

Unaware of additional cases

While police said they were aware of the Dundas senior’s complaint, made at the Mountain station the day after she was robbed, investigators did not believe seniors were a specific target and were unaware of additional cases in Dundas.

Last Friday, however, police sent out a press release warning the public seniors were being targeted by a pickpocket at Mountain Plaza Mall.

According to the press release, an 83-year-old woman “was approached by another woman who asked her to assist with reading a label on a product. The victim assisted but was again asked by the suspect to reach for another item and read the label. Hamilton Police believe that the suspect, or someone with the suspect, reached into the victim’s purse and took her wallet while she was distracted.”

Police said the incident took place around 4 p. m., the same time of day a Dundas senior was robbed in the same manner one week earlier.

Ms. Caco was not only upset by what she feels was a lack of interest shown by police when the Dundas incidents were reported, but by the grocery store staff’s inexperience in handling thefts.

“They basically didn’t know what to do,” she said. “You would like to think you are trained in some sort of fashion should this happen in your store. Where was store security?

“There was no compensation for my mother. This was her pension money, her weekly groceries and her independence that was violated.”

Two weeks ago, Ms. Caco said local seniors should be warned they were being targeted by this distraction theft pickpocket.