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Thief targets senior after bank transaction in Berwick

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BERWICK - A Berwick-area woman in her 80s has a cautionary tale to share after a disconcerting run-in with a crafty thief.

The woman, who does not wish to be identified for security purposes, went to the Royal Bank along Commercial Street in Berwick to withdraw $300 in cash May 17.

She noticed a man having a cigarette near the steps for the bank on her way in, but didn’t think much of it until she encountered that man again after returning to her vehicle parked in the Independent Grocer lot nearby.

She said she placed her handbag on the seat of her car, and the man approached her under the guise that he was concerned her car was leaking fluid.

“He ran around the front and said, ‘It’s just gushing out,” the woman recalled.

Seconds later, the man grabbed the door to the woman’s car and got his hands on the cash in her bag. She yelled at him to put the money back, and started trying to hit his hands with her cane.

“He took three twenties and threw the rest on the street and ran,” she said, adding that she’s thankful she was not injured.

“It all happened so fast that I was left dumbfounded. It was somebody that knew what they were doing.”

She said the fact that the man only stole $60 when he had more cash in his hands is perplexing, to say the least.

“The loss of the money was secondary to the incident, but it’s a good thing for other people to watch (for),” she said.  

“I’m sure if he’d do that to me he’d do it to other people. It shouldn’t go unnoticed.”

She said the man, who was of average height and she guessed to be middle aged, was wearing what looked to be a navy blue athletic suit. She last saw him running across the street and going by the post office.

“Older people should be especially careful because there is a person like that at large,” she said.

Const. Kelli Gaudet of the Kings District RCMP confirmed that the matter is under investigation May 22. The theft was reported to police at 2:10 p.m. May 17.

Gaudet said RCMP don’t often receive calls of this nature in Kings County, and there have not been recent reports of similar occurrences.

Police are urging anyone with information about the theft in Berwick to contact Nova Scotia Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or submit a secure web tip at https://crimestoppers.ns.ca/.

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