Kingston Police looking for suspect in attempted distraction theft

Kingston Police have released details and are asking for the public’s assistance after an attempted distraction theft outside a store in the area of Bayridge Drive and Taylor Kidd Boulevard.

According to a release from Kingston Police, the attempted theft took place at approximately 6:35 p.m. on Tuesday, Apr. 30, 2024.

“The complainant had attended this location and while outside of the store they were approached by the male suspect, who had just exited from the passenger side seat of a silver car, which was pulled up in front of the store. The vehicle had a taxi sign affixed to the roof and there was a second male who remained in the driver’s seat of the car throughout the encounter,” Kingston Police detailed.

“The suspect asked the complainant if he could give them cash for the use of their debit card, while explaining that the taxicab driver would only accept debit or credit and that his card was not presently working.”

According to the release, when the complainant handed the male their debit card the suspect took it and then dropped it intentionally inside the passenger door and was seen using a different card in the payment processor. Police said that the complainant, now suspecting that this was a scam, realized what had happened and immediately asked for their card back and the suspect complied with their request.

“The suspect then got back into the vehicle and left the scene traveling eastbound on Taylor Kidd Boulevard. Police were contacted and quickly attended and searched the area, however, were unable to locate the suspect vehicle,” police stated.

“On this same date at approximately 8:20 p.m., while still searching for the suspect in the west end of Kingston, police located the vehicle parked in front of a store on Midland Avenue south of Cataraqui Woods Drive. Officers observed the suspect exit the store and get into the vehicle and immediately attempted to conduct a traffic stop in the parking lot with their emergency lights activated, however, the vehicle fled from the scene.”

Police noted that further investigation revealed that the rear licence plate, BBNH415, which was attached to the suspect vehicle, had been previously reported as stolen from the Greater Toronto Area. The suspect vehicle is described as a silver four-door Hyundai Elantra.

According to the release, the suspect is described as a Caucasian male with a thin build and brown hair. He was wearing blue shoes with light blue laces, black pants, and a blue zip-up jacket. In one instance the suspect was also wearing a black New Era hat with white lettering and the sticker still affixed to the top of the beak.

Anyone with information regarding the identity of the suspect or the location of the vehicle involved is asked to contact Constable Craig Morton via email at [email protected].

Tips can be provided anonymously by calling the Kingston Police general number 613-549-4660 ext. 0 and asking to remain anonymous.

The following information was provided by Kingston Police in the release:
Police are reminding the public that various forms of distraction theft scams are on the rise across Ontario. These scam artists and thieves tend to prey on vulnerable members of our community, including seniors, and Kingston Police is issuing a reminder that it is important to always be situationally aware and to never hand over your debit or credit card to a stranger. Further, do not be tricked into giving your PIN number to a stranger and cover up keypads while entering your PIN numbers at checkouts in stores or at banks. It is also important to be aware that there are generally multiple crooks involved in these schemes and their goal is to distract you while they attempt to defraud you. Don’t be tricked by their tactics and call police immediately should you believe that you have been targeted.

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