Vancouver Police are issuing a public warning after a series of three purse thefts and purse snatchings in East Vancouver.

The first purse snatching occurred on December 5th shortly after 6:30 p.m. A 54 year old Vancouver woman was standing on Elliott Street near E.49th Avenue. While she waited for her ride to work, a man came from behind, took the shoulder bag she was carrying, and fled east on foot between the buildings.

The second was a theft that happened at 4:30 in the afternoon on December 7th. A 75 year old woman standing at the bus stop on the southwest corner of E.49th Avenue and Elliott Street placed her bag on the bench while she waited. While her back was turned, a man ran up and grabbed the bag.

The third also took place near E.49th Avenue and Elliott Street. On December 9th, a 55 year old woman got off the bus at approximately 6:30 p.m. and began walking south on Elliott. She was approached by a man who grabbed her purse off her shoulder and fled on foot.

Thankfully, none of the victims were injured in the three incidents. Investigators are developing a suspect profile and following up on the evidence and information provided by the victims and witnesses.

Police are appealing for anyone with information to call the Vancouver Police General Investigation Unit at (604) 717-3200 or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477.

The VPD is reminding residents to be alert and report any suspicious persons or circumstances to police immediately.

Safety Tips:

  • walk with a friend or family member if possible
  • keep your purse and belongings close to your body so they aren’t easily grabbed
  • carry keys and identifying documents in your pocket, so if your purse is stolen thieves won’t have your house keys
  • if possible, do not carry large amounts of money with you