(West Shore RCMP)

The suspects wanted for “distraction theft” schemes in Saanich are also believed to be behind a similar incident in Langford, according to police.

West Shore RCMP have put out a plea for help from the public after a woman reported her wallet stolen from a retail parking lot in the 800-block of Langford Parkway on Saturday.

As the victim was getting into her parked vehicle at around 1 p.m. on June 4th, she was approached by a man who said there was something wrong with her tire—when she went to look, she found a sharp object jammed inside.

That’s when CCTV footage captured another man entering her vehicle to snatch her wallet, including her bank card, later successfully withdrawing money from her account, West Shore RCMP say.

The footage, seized as part of an investigation, also “shows a man putting something in the victim’s tire and then approaching her window to get her attention,” police explained.

That echoes incidents in Saanich.

At around 2 p.m. on June 4th, a man at Uptown Shopping Centre reportedly told a woman to check her parked car’s tire before she noticed her wallet was stolen from her passenger seat. 

SEE ALSO: Police release photos of suspects in Saanich ‘distraction theft’ scheme

The day prior, a woman in the Broadmead Shopping Centre parking lot was also distracted as her wallet was looted from her purse, according to Saanich Police. 

(Saanich Police)

The Langford victim says the man who approached her had olive-coloured skin and spoke with an accent, standing at around 5’8” and weighing around 160 pounds.

“We believe the West Shore RCMP and Saanich Police Department incidents are related and we will be working together in this investigation,” RCMP Const. Meghan Groulx said Wednesday.

According to Groulx, police are not only seeing an increase in distraction theft crimes across Greater Victoria but also on the Lower Mainland.

“If you are approached by a stranger and you feel it is suspicious or similar to this report, please do not engage and contact the police,” she added.

Anyone who can identify either suspect is asked to call West Shore RCMP at (250) 474-2264. To remain anonymous, tipsters can contact Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477.

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