West Hartford

Police Warn of Distraction Thefts in Downtown West Hartford

NBC Connecticut

West Hartford Police are warning residents to be cautious after a distraction theft happened on North Main Street Tuesday.

Officials said the incident happened in the afternoon hours at 340 North Main St. They said thefts that are similar in nature occurred back in February in supermarket parking lots.

The first incident of distraction theft was reported at the Whole Foods parking lot, where this incident also happened.

So far, they've only gotten one new report, but authorities are providing tips to help protect yourself and your belongings.

  • Generally, distraction thieves are well-dressed and target elderly victims and retail businesses.
  • As in this case and similar cases, the suspects work in pairs and may wait for you to enter your vehicle and then the distracter will lure you out either trying to report a problem they have or an issue with your vehicle. (flat tire, lug nut, etc.)
  • Be aware of your surroundings and be wary of strangers.
  • If you exit your vehicle to speak with someone, lock and close your vehicle doors behind you.
  • Place valuables (purse, wallet, etc.) in a hidden area in your vehicle and if your purse has a zipper, utilize it.
  • Park in a well-lit and visible area (keep in mind where exterior cameras may be located on nearby buildings).
  • Immediately report any suspicious behavior to the police.

The theft is under investigation. Anyone with information is asked to contact police.

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