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Residents urged to guard against distraction tactics after couple steal purse at grocery store

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Police warn Barrie residents to be cautious of strangers while shopping after a report of a distraction theft at a local grocery store.

According to police, a man distracted a woman at a Bayfield store on Sunday afternoon when her purse, containing bank cards, cash, and a cell phone, was taken.

They say the suspect was a brown-skinned, heavy-set man in his 40s with short, dark hair. He wore a white puffy winter coat, yellow shirt, light-grey track pants and white shoes with black flecks.

He was accompanied by a brown-skinned woman in her 40s with a medium build and long dark hair. She wore a green shirt, glasses, dark grey track pants and grey Ugg-style boots.

Police say the shopper's purse was found in a nearby fast-food restaurant, but the contents were gone.

"A distraction theft is very common, and often thieves will target unattended purses that are in shopping carts," police warned, advising keeping purses closed and on your person at all times.

" Also, please remember that these thieves are very quick at what they do, and anyone can be a target of their distraction techniques," police concluded.

They ask anyone with information on the suspects to contact the investigating officer at 705-725-7025, extension 2763.

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