Sheriff Warns of Increased "Distract and Dash" Theft Incidents in Iowa
March 07, 2023 2:49pm
The Sioux County Sheriff is warning of increased activity in the state regarding the “Distract and Dash,” scam/theft. The theft/scam goes something like this:
Shopper in a grocery store, their purse is placed in the seat of the cart.
Two individuals approach and one of them engages the shopper with conversation about store products. The conversing first suspect usually places themselves between the shopper and their purse. While the shopper is discussing the selection of chips (or other product) with the first suspect, the second suspect quickly goes through the purse and takes credit cards, cash and membership cards to club-style stores. In Sioux County think nearby Sam’s Club, Costco, etc. The conversation ends and everyone parts ways; in some cases, suspects have committed the crime and left the area in less than 20 seconds.
Suspects leave and go to the club store and use the membership entry card and credit cards to purchase gift cards. Then, suspects purchase merchandise on the gift cards. Sometimes, those illegal purchases can be thousands of dollars. Often times, the unsuspecting shopper-victim does not discover the crime happened until they go to check out, which, in some cases can be quite a while after the crime.
While it’s not impossible for investigators to trace these purchases, it is complex and requires a large amount of time. There is also frequently an inconvenience placed on the original shopper as they work through the issue with credit card companies and law enforcement.
What can you do? Here are some prevention suggestions:
- Situational Awareness – know who’s around you at all times and be wary of overly-friendly encounters when separated from your belongings.
- Secure your purse to the grocery cart and close/zip all access points; better yet, carry your purse while shopping.
- Keep your wallet hidden or in your pocket while shopping in areas where your attention can be diverted.
- While we wouldn’t advocate rudeness, you don’t have to speak with strangers at the store. You can politely decline to engage with them and move on or ask them to give you space.
- Report suspicious activity to store security immediately.
- If no security is available, call 9-1-1; give us the time, location and physical descriptions of individuals you feel were acting suspiciously.
Orange City Reveals Costumes, Parade Marshals for Tulip Festival
March 23, 2023 10:24am
Orange City held their annual Tulip Festival Extravaganza Wednesday at the Prairie Winds Event
Several Groups Give Reports at City Council Meeting
March 14, 2023 11:01am
The Sioux Center City Council listened to reports from several entities at their Monday
Grant Will Fund Next Honor Flight
March 08, 2023 3:40pm
Midwest Honor Flight received an $87,500 grant from the Lyon County Riverboat Foundation
FCS To Build New Grain Facility South of Beresford, SD
March 01, 2023 12:44pm
Farmers Coop Society (FCS), the Board of Directors, and Management of Farmers Coop Society, is
Agreement Helps With New Hotel in Sioux Center
February 27, 2023 2:48pm
A new hotel that will promote stays and economic activity in Sioux Center is receiving City