Prolific fraudster targeting seniors in Metro Vancouver, RCMP warn
Wallets, purses, valuables stolen in at least 9 incidents since mid-July in North Vancouver
North Vancouver RCMP are warning the public, especially seniors, about a suspect wanted in a rash of thefts targeting elderly victims.
Police say Donald Robert Quinnell is a suspect in at least nine incidents in North Vancouver since mid-July, in which he allegedly gains the trust of a victim then steals their wallets, purses and other valuables.
Investigators have been working with Vancouver police and West Vancouver police, saying Quinnell may also be linked to a series of similar thefts in those jurisdictions.
Police say Quinnell, who is from Chilliwack, appears well dressed and well mannered, and allegedly approaches lone elderly victims in grocery store parking lots and outside residences under the pretence of needing or offering help.
In some cases, he says he has locked his keys out of his car and needs help, while in others he offers to help carry the victim's groceries, police allege.
"He gains trust so that he can betray it," said Sgt. Peter DeVries.
"It makes us angry that we have to tell the public they need to think twice before giving or accepting kindness from strangers."
Quinnell is described as:
- 52 years old
- 6 feet 1 inch tall
- 190 pounds
- Short brown hair
- Light to medium complexion
- May be wearing glasses and/or a ball cap
- Well dressed and well groomed
North Vancouver RCMP are asking elderly people and others in the community to stay vigilant and report anything suspicious to police.
"Knowing this guy is watching the elderly in order to find his next victim, we hope everyone else will also be watching for this guy, and keeping a close eye on the elderly in our community," said DeVries.
Anyone who sees the suspect or witnesses anything suspicious is asked to call 911 immediately.