We all like to believe that we are aware of our surroundings and that we can protect ourselves from thieves and con-artists. Even the most aware and prepared can be scammed . All it takes is a little distraction.
New York State Police are warning residents of a rash of “Distract and Steal” scams that have been popping up around the Capital Region and there is no reason to think this crime spree won’t spread to other parts of the State. Here’s what to look out for.
Within the last 4 weeks several “Distract and Steal” incidents have occurred in towns such as Fonda, Amsterdam and Clifton Park. In some of the scenarios the criminal is believed to have placed thumbtacks under one of the tires of the victim’s vehicle. Then they act as a Good Samaritan, attempting to notify the victim in order to distract them while the other suspects conducted the theft.
Here are some of the specifics.
August 5, 2023 – Distract and Steal at Bank of America in Clifton Park. New York State Troopers report that one of the suspects distracted the victim while another suspect stole over $1,000 from the victim’s vehicle. The third suspect acted as a lookout and drove the vehicle they fled in.
August 22, 2023 – Distract and Steal at Market 32 in Amsterdam, NY. One suspect distracted the victim in the parking lot while another suspect stole the victim’s wallet from their vehicle.
There were a total of 7 suspects in these two cases and all 7 have been arrested and charged. Here are some of the charges;
- Grand Larceny in the 4th degree
- Identity Theft in the 2nd degree
- Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the 4th degree
- Conspiracy in the 5th degree
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