'Long-lost relative' robs White Rock senior
White Rock RCMP are warning residents to make sure they know who they are inviting into their home, following the brazen afternoon robbery of a senior last month.
Const. Janelle Shoihet said Tuesday that police were called to the 14900-block of North Bluff Road after an elderly woman realized she had been robbed by a man who purported to be "a long-lost relative" on March 23.
The man knocked on the senior's door, confirmed his last name matched the resident's and accepted an invitation to come in, Shoihet said.
"Once inside the apartment, the male distracted the 89-year-old resident by asking her for some tea and a snack, at which point he went into her purse and stole a large amount of cash," Shoihet said.
"As the resident returned with the tea and a sandwich, the male stated that he had to run out and move his truck, then did not return. A few hours later the victim realized that she had been robbed."
The suspect is described as a Caucasian male, approximately 28 years old.
Anyone with information on his identity or whereabouts is asked to contact the detachment at 778-593-3600.
The incident prompted Shoihet to offer citizens a few tips on how to avoid being victimized by such individuals:
• for apartment residents, buzzer numbers and apartment numbers should not correlate. If they do, residents should only be identified as "Occupant";
• mailboxes should not have names associated to the resident;
• do not permit strangers into the building;
• if someone buzzes to be let in, go down to establish whether or not they should be permitted into the building;
• ask for identification for all persons stating they are doing work inside the building;
• those who live in single-family homes are advised to not leave mail in their mailbox for extended periods of time; and,
• do not invite people into their home until who they are can be verified