Since the beginning of September, police have received 16 reports of purse thefts in west Edmonton, with a recent incident taking place last week at a retail store in the Mayfield area.
On Thursday, Nov. 19, 2020, West Division officers responded to the report of a purse theft at a retail store in the area of Stony Plain Rd and 168 Street. It was reported to police that a female shopper had placed her purse inside of her shopping basket and shortly after realized it was gone. When the complainant contacted her financial institution to cancel her debit card, she reportedly learned the suspect had immediately used her card to make purchases at various stores nearby.
Similar instances have been reported by shoppers at other stores in Edmonton’s west end, with majority of the thefts taking place at larger grocery and retail stores along Stony Plain Rd between 149 Street and 185 Street. In each instance, the suspect reportedly waits until the shopper is distracted and then removes the purse from the shopping cart or basket. The suspect then allegedly uses the complainant’s cards or cash at nearby stores. In total, EPS West Division has responded to 22 similar theft reports between Jan. 11 and Nov. 25, 2020, with more than $5,700 reported stolen from citizens.
Purse thefts in west Edmonton
Investigators have identified a person of interest in the thefts and are actively seeking their whereabouts. As the holiday shopping season begins, officers would like to advise citizens shopping in this area to remain aware of their possessions and their surroundings at all times. Additionally, anyone who has had their purse stolen in a similar way or has noticed any suspicious activity while shopping is encouraged to contact police.
Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.