An still image taken from security video footage shows a woman police allege is involved

An still image taken from security video footage shows a woman police allege is involved

Alleged pickpockets targeting seniors on Vancouver Island

NANAIMO – Police warning that two women are allegedly stealing seniors' wallets to take credit cards.

Mounties are warning the public to be wary of two women who are allegedly stealing seniors’ wallets for their credit cards.

There have been at least five incidents on Vancouver Island, including one in Nanaimo at Wal-Mart Nov. 19, according to Nanaimo RCMP.

All five documented cases, ranging from Courtenay to Langford, involve two women who keep their faces partially concealed with shawls and stand next to their targets at checkouts and watch their intended victims enter their PIN numbers into the transaction machine. Then they follow the victim out of the store, pickpocket the victim’s wallet and use stolen credit cards to make a cash withdrawals from ATM machines. Some withdrawals have been for as much as $1,000.

Investigators viewed video surveillance footage after the Nanaimo incident, which involved a 68-year-old woman, and watched as the suspects stood next to her at the till, followed her to the foyer and lifted her wallet. The victim didn’t realize her wallet was gone until her credit card company alerted her to a significant withdrawal. The victim immediately cancelled her credit cards.

Police say the suspects are skilled and practiced from numerous thefts. Both women are described as having dark skin and possibly of eastern European descent.

Anyone with information about the suspects or the thefts is asked to call Nanaimo RCMP at 250-754-2345 or contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.nanaimocrimestoppers.com.