A brazen distraction theft saw a Langley man lose $700 from right in front of his eyes.
On Sept. 20, the victim had just finished a transaction at a currency exchange and had received $1,500 in cash, said Cpl. Holly Marks, a spokesperson for the Langley RCMP.
The victim kept the cash in his hand while buying a coffee immediately afterwards. The man in line behind the victim struck up a conversation, said Marks.
The man in line said he was from another country, and eventually asked to hold the cash to look closer and feel the differences between Canadian and overseas money.
The suspect handed back the cash and the victim went on with ordering his drink.
It wasnâ€™t until after the suspect left the store without ordering anything that the victim felt uneasy, Marks said. He took his money out of his wallet, counted it, and found $700, almost half the cash, was missing.
The suspect in the incident is described as a Hispanic man in his mid 30s, standing 5â€™6â€ and weighing 200 to 250 pounds, with a thin moustache, black spiky hair and dark brown eyes. He was wearing dark rimmed glasses, a yellow shirt, and possibly jeans.
Police are warning the public about distraction thefts and about handling cash in public.
Be aware of your surroundings and discreet with your wallet contents, Marks said.
Do not count your cash in the open, and be aware of your surroundings when withdrawing cash from an ATM. If you see anything suspicious, cancel the transaction and leave immediately. If followed, go to a crowded, well-lit area an call the police.
When using an enclosed ATM requiring your card to open the door, avoid letting strangers follow you inside.
Donâ€™t allow yourself to be distracted, Marks said.
If you have information on the suspect in this investigation, call the Langley RCMP at 604-532-3200, or to remain anonymous, call CrimeStoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS).