Two people wanted on immigration warrants have been arrested, with police still seeking a third person, in relation to a string of bank and credit card thefts at Canada Line SkyTrain stations.
Metro Vancouver Transit Police said Thursday that Alina Radacanu and Ricardo Oprea, both 31 years old, were arrested July 21 at the Yaletown Canada Line Station after an officer recognized the pair from an internal bulletin.
According to transit police, the pair allegedly use “sophisticated distraction techniques and sleight of hand” to steal from commuters at various SkyTrain stations along the Canada Line.
First they would allegedly offer help to a stranger at the ticket vending machine, passing themselves off as Good Samaritans. While helping, police said they would watch the victim enter their personal identification number, or PIN, for their credit or debit card.
After following the victim, police said, one of the alleged thieves would use “well-choreographed” moves to distract the victim – such as through a bump or nudge – while another steals the victim’s wallet or purse.
Transit police said there have been 10 incidents reported by commuters, with individual losses in excess of $5,000.
Oprea and Radacanu were arrested and held in custody until they appeared for immigration hearings late last month.
Radacanu has since been arrested and released by transit police on a promise to appear in court in Vancouver in October.
Police say that charges of theft are currently pending.
Oprea remains in custody until his second immigration hearing on Aug. 28.
A third person, 30-year-old Auras Yanis Radacanu is still at large on an immigration warrant, transit police said, and also allegedly involved in the thefts.
He is described as Eastern European, and is average height with a slim build. He has short dark brown hair with blue eyes and wears dark-framed glasses.
Public transit users are being reminded to always cover the keypad when entering security PINs.
Anyone with any information as to the whereabouts of this suspect, or who believes they may have been the victim of a similar incident, is asked to call the Metro Vancouver Transit Police tip line at 604-516-7419.