Sun. Apr 14th, 2024

In the last year, seven parking lot distraction thefts have been reported in Irvine, according to the Irvine Police Department.

This weekend, an off-duty officer was in the right place at the right time. While shopping, he noticed a suspect wiping the red contents of a condiment packet on a victim’s vehicle in an Orange County public parking lot. He interrupted the attempted theft before it happened and contacted the local police department.

In most cases, a bad actor will wipe a substance like ketchup on the back of the victim’s vehicle. The suspect then alerts the victim that something is on their vehicle. They get the victim to exit their car to show them the marks. A second bad guy then steals the victim’s purse or valuables while they are distracted looking at the marks.

Criminals can employ a variety of distractions to steal from you. Here are some tips to increase your safety:

  • If you are approached by a stranger in a parking lot, stay in your vehicle and lock your doors
  • If you feel compelled to check your vehicle, close and lock your car doors first
  • Keep your distance from strangers
  • When you are in public, make sure your purse is zipped closed or latched shut
  • When grocery shopping, never store your purse in your shopping cart. Thieves will grab valuables from open purses when shoppers are distracted
  • Report suspicious behavior or situations to law enforcement

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

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