DEPARTMENT OF POLICE
MEDIA SERVICES DIVISION
For Immediate Release
For More Information:
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Media Services Division, 240-773-5030
In May of 2009 there were a series of distraction thefts in buildings with medical offices in the greater
These most recent suspects are described as two black males over 6’ tall with brown eyes and black hair. One was described as weighing 170 to 200 pounds; the other as weighing between 200 and 250 pounds.
In the distraction schemes in grocery stores, the victims are more commonly female. A suspect pretending to be a shopper will ask for some sort of assistance from an older woman. He may ask which brand of a product she would recommend. Or even claim to be allergic to peanuts and can’t read the label, so asks the victim to look at a product package to see if there are any nuts. While the female victim is trying to be helpful, the suspect removes the wallet from her purse. Sometimes the entire purse is taken.
Montgomery County Police want to make certain that senior citizens are aware that these types of crimes do occur and what steps can be taken to help prevent being victimized:
- Men should carry their wallets inside a coat if possible or in a side pocket, never the back pocket. Wrapping a couple of strong rubber bands around a wallet makes it more difficult to extract.
- Watch out for jostling and physical or verbal distractions which are probably being staged so that a pocket/purse can be picked.
- If you are aware that your pocket has been picked, don’t be afraid to yell out or shout for help.
- Be aware that pickpockets often work in teams. One person may appear to be asking you for help or engaging you in some way while an accomplice is after your valuables.
- Woman should not leave their purses in shopping carts. Purses should be zipped or buckled closed, carried close to the body, and whenever possible keep a hand on the closure.
- Have some sort of credit card protection in place where the credit card companies monitor the usage and can detect fraudulent activity.
- Be sure to have account information and contact numbers easily accessible in order to call credit card companies as soon as possible after a theft.
- After a theft occurs, call police as soon as possible at 911 or the police non-emergency number of 301-279-8000. Write down some notes of what can be remembered of the suspect(s) to provide as complete a description as possible to police.