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Pickpockets at the Shopping Centre

I recently received this call for help from the daughter of a Côte Saint-Luc senior citizen, who had her wallet stolen at the IGA supermarket at the Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre. Two heavy-set women, as she described them, bumped into her, and when she came to pay for her groceries, her wallet was gone and her purse was zipped closed. his was a very disturbing and frightening experience for this lady, whose daughter tells me that unfortunately this was not the first time that shoppers had their wallets stolen from this store. She also points to Dollarama, Reitmans, and Jean Coutu as danger spots. Sadly, seniors are most often the target of these crafty thieves. “The manager of IGA phoned the police andsaid he would check the store cameras if anything was caught on tape,” the daughter told me. “The cashiers said ‘not again!’ when they became aware of the stolen wallet. Luckily for my mother she didn't keep her credit card and bank card in her wallet. Her licence and medicare cards were taken, as well as cash. I'm happy that she wasn't hurt in the incident.”

Well, I contacted Montreal Police Station 9 Commander Sylvain Bissonnette, he said he was aware of the problem. He has even assigned plain clothed police officers to survey the situation. In some cases they looked for elderly people leaving their bags unattended, lifted the wallet and then returned it to the person with instructions of what “not to do.” The commander warned against carrying a purse “with half of your life in it,” noting that a small wallet in your pocket could do. “Of course, the large one that holds 36 credit cards and the family photo album is a problem if you have small pockets,” he says. “The question is, do people have to carry all that stuff? Criminals always target what's easy because they are lazy. For us prevention is the most efficient way of getting thiefs out of business.”

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