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Crime, News

Accused YVR purse thief may be part of organized airport crime ring

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Vincent Plana Apr 18, 2019 4:20 pm

Police are warning travellers to take extra caution after a case of theft at the Vancouver International Airport.

On Wednesday, April 17, just before 10 am, members of the Richmond RCMP’s YVR Detachment arrested a suspect related to a theft investigation.

Investigators caught the suspect allegedly stealing a purse from another passenger in the International Arrivals terminal of the airport.

According to Cpl. Dennis Hwang, Richmond RCMP Spokesperson, the YVR Detachment has been deploying plainclothes teams to conduct surveillance on these types of crimes since the beginning of March.

The suspect, a 60-year-old woman, is believed to be part of a larger, organized crime group travelling from airport to airport.

“Police are looking at the possibility of linking multiple instances of theft to this woman,” says Hwang. “A number of law enforcement agencies besides the RCMP are interested in the accused and have been assisting us in our investigation.”

In the meantime, RCMP Officers are also giving travellers tips to help keep their possessions safe.

“Suspects that specialize in this work generally work in teams and employ techniques to divert attention from their true purpose – to steal valuables away from their owners,” says Inspector Keith Bramhill, Richmond RCMP YVR Operations Officer.

“They are acute observers of people’s behaviour and their habits. They are often difficult to identify and detect as they are extremely good at their craft.”

Passengers travelling through any airport are reminded to be mindful of their personal belongings at all times.

Any suspicious activity should be reported to the police immediately.

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