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Media Release - February 12, 2024


Distraction Thefts

Port Hope Police urges the public to remain vigilant against distraction thefts, a prevalent tactic used by criminals to steal wallets and valuables from unsuspecting individuals.

Distraction thefts typically occur when a perpetrator deliberately diverts the attention of the victim, often in crowded public places such as shopping centers or markets. The thief may work alone or with accomplices, engaging the victim in conversation or creating a disturbance while another steals from their purse or pockets. Alternatively, thieves may strike when individuals momentarily leave their belongings unattended, such as in the front of shopping carts.

To prevent falling victim to distraction thefts, Port Hope Police offers the following tips:

  1. Stay alert and aware of your surroundings, especially in busy public areas.
  2. Never leave personal items unattended, even for a moment.
  3. Carry only the cash and cards you need for your outing, leaving unnecessary documents such as birth certificates or Social Insurance Cards at home.

By taking simple precautions and remaining aware of your surroundings, you can significantly reduce the risk of falling victim to distraction thefts.

If you notice any suspicious activity or individuals behaving strangely, please report it to Police immediately. Your vigilance could help prevent others from becoming victims of theft.

The Port Hope Police Service is committed to promoting safety and security within our community and appreciates the public's cooperation in preventing crime.


Anyone with information on a crime are asked to contact Port Hope Police at 905-885-8123 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS