SINCE December 9, the Surrey RCMP has responded to five purse snatching incidents that have occurred in Surrey.
Surrey RCMP has noticed that the majority of these robberies have happened in public places such as parking lots and have targeted female victims. As a result, police are reminding people to be extra vigilant with their personal property and to be aware of their surroundings at all time. While an arrest was made following the report of one of these robberies in Newton on December 12, the Surrey RCMP is actively investigating similar incidents by speaking with witnesses and canvassing for video surveillance footage.
Four of these incidents have occurred in the Newton Town Centre area, while the other occurred near the Central City shopping area.
Suspects have been identified as white males wearing hoodies, however with the limited descriptions received, Surrey RCMP has not concluded if there are one or multiple suspects.
“We have increased our presence in the area with the support of enhanced foot patrols as well as increased patrols by the Bike Unit and members of the Crime Reduction and Neighbourhood Liaison Units,” says Surrey RCMP Cpl. Bert Paquet. “We also rely on members from the public to report all suspicious people and activities to us right away by calling the Surrey RCMP or attending one of our District Offices.
“Simple steps like trusting your instincts and being aware of your surroundings will help reduce the risk of being a potential victim. We take this opportunity to remind residents throughout the City about basic safety steps such as not texting and walking, avoiding short cuts and walking with friends.”
Additional tips for preventing robberies include:
If you are walking alone:
- Be Aware – Know your surroundings and remove your headphones.
- Trust Your Instincts – If something does not feel right, remove yourself from the situation.
- Walk with Confidence – Keep your head up and know where you are going.
- Call a Friend – Let someone else know where you are going.
- Only Essentials – Carry only the necessary identification, money, or cards that you need.
- Keep in Touch – Bring your cell phone so you can make emergency calls.
- Stay Visible – Stay in well-lit areas and don’t wear dark clothes at night.
- Keys Ready – Have your car or house keys ready before you reach the door.
- Lock Down – Lock your car or house door after you are inside.
Minimize your risk:
- Don’t carry large bags or purses
- Don’t carry large amounts of cash
- Don’t carry important documents like a passport or birth certificate
- Don’t make your valuables visible
If you think you are being followed:
- Cross the street
- Go to the nearest home, business or public place or call a friend
Anyone with more information about these cases is asked to contact the Surrey RCMP at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers, if they wish to remain anonymous, at 1-800-222-8477.
For more information and tips on protecting your property, visit the Protect Yourself section of the Surrey RCMP website.