A noted community activist called me last week to share this story. A few weeks ago he went to the bank at the Côte St. Luc Shopping Centre with an elderly client . The nature of the visit was such that they were there for perhaps five minutes. After that he dropped off an envelope to an office in the Centre and had a sandwich. He carried a purse containing credit and debit cards and others for car rentals, airlines, etc. There was also a leather portfolio with a few documents and his client’s bank book and debit card. He left by the entrance closest to the bank and got into his car to return to his office downtown.
At the first red light, after exiting the parking lot, he was stopped and a fellow pointed to his right rear tire, indicating he had a flat. “I kept driving slowly for a number of blocks and decided I better stop and check for myself and not ruin my tire,” the activist said. “I did so further down the street. and sure enough my tire was very flat. I got in the car and called CAA and waited. After several minutes, I believe the same fellow, appeared and I rolled the window down enough to hear him and he indicated that if I had a pump in my trunk he could fill the tire and get to a garage. I refused, indicating I had called CAA. He persisted and like a fool I got out of the car, went to the trunk, which I had opened, and with him looked for a pump which I really knew I didn’t have. I closed the trunk, got back in the car, he left and then waited for CAA. I then realized both my purse and portfolio were gone. I reported this to the police by calling 911 and then filed a police report later that day. Naturally I proceeded to deal with my cards.
“The main thing is that I was duped very convincingly by a professional. I understand that this is happening quite often at the CSL, Van Horne and Galerie St. Laurent shopping centre and I’m sure others. They seem to target seniors and use different ploys. One of my associates, who no longer drives, accompanied his wife to Van Horne Shopping Centre, was in the car while she was in the bank. A fellow stood in front of his car pointing to the front of the hood. My buddy got out of the car, saw there was nothing, got back in the car and his purse with all his cards were gone.One of the tellers at the RBC CSL told me one of her customers had her purse taken twice."