Police are now warning residents after an uptick in what they describe as distraction thefts have occurred in Connecticut.
Two occurrences of distraction thefts have occurred in West Hartford within the past month, which are currently being investigated.
According to police, the first incident occurred during the first week of February at the Whole Food’s parking lot on 340 North Main St. An elderly woman was approached by a man who gestured her to the back of her car, claiming that there was an issue with her tire.
The woman then realized after the interaction that her wallet had been stolen and charges had been made on several of her credit cards, authorities said.
Another incident occurred on Thursday in the Trader Joe’s parking lot on 1489 New Britain Ave. An elderly woman was in her car when a man tapped on her window with a tire tool, police said.
After getting out of her car and following the man, she saw that there was nothing wrong and the man walked away.
According to police, the woman also found that after re-entering her car, her wallet was stolen and fraudulent charges were attempted on several cards.
West Hartford police are also working with Westport Police after a similar incident happened in Westport this month.
These incidents are being investigated and anyone with further information is asked to contact police at 860-523-5203.
To prevent being a victim of a distraction theft, West Hartford police give these tips:
- Distraction thieves are at most times well-dressed and well-spoken.
- Thieves will wait until a target gets into their car and will then tell the victim that there is a problem and to follow them.
- When the victim gets out to look at the problem, an accomplice will then enter your car to steal items.
- Be aware of surroundings and strangers.
- If you have to exit your vehicle, lock and close your doors before doing so.