Two Abbotsford residents have been charged in connection to a distraction theft in Deroche on June 11.
Police say two people were approached by a male and a female with a baby who stated they they needed water for their vehicle which had broken down.
The first incident happened around 5 p.m. but the 72-year-old woman was aware of the scam which had been reported in the media in recent weeks. She watched the couple closely and did not give them a chance to take anything. The woman observed the couple leave in a newer model silver Dodge Caravan with no license plates and called police.
About an hour later, Mission RCMP received a call from a 73-year-old Deroche resident who said his wife’s purse had been stolen by a couple with a baby who had come to his house asking for water for their overheated vehicle.
Less than 10 minutes later, stopped the suspect vehicle on the Murray Street overpass and recovered the stolen items. The van was traced back to a local auto dealer.
According to police, the suspects pretended to be interested in buying the vehicle and had taken it out on a test drive.
Charged with theft under $5,000 are 47-year-old Donald Quinnell and 21-year-old Krisztina Krakoszki. Both were released with bail conditions. The one-year-old child with the couple was referred to the Ministry of Children and Families.
“This investigation is preliminary and Mission RCMP believe this type of theft has been committed in multiple communities throughout the Lower Mainland,” said RCMP Staff Sgt. Rob Dixon. “Efforts to coordinate the investigation of other incidents that have been previously reported to police is currently underway.”