A woman’s car was stolen from the city parkade after a thief watched her enter the stall number. (Neil Corbett/THE NEWS)

Maple Ridge crime victim warns community to be on alert

Purse and then car stolen from Leisure Centre locker

A Maple Ridge woman who lost her purse and her car recently wants to warn the public about how thieves victimized her.

She parked in the underground parking lot at the Maple Ridge Leisure Centre on Oct. 29 at close to 9 a.m.. As she went to the parking meter to punch in the number of her stall, a woman was lurking close by, watching the numbers she entered.

The suspect then followed the woman, who went upstairs to the busy front desk, and got through the controlled gate.

“When I scanned myself in, she was right on my tail,” said the victim.

The suspect has been caught on video surveillance.

Then the victim went to the changeroom, put on her bathing suit for an aquafit class, and locked her purse and clothes in a locker.

While she was changing, the suspect was in the changeroom with her, using her cell phone.

Once the ladies left the changeroom, the suspect broke into the victim’s locker.

“She had to have a tool to get in there,” said the victim.

The thief grabbed the woman’s purse, and went to the parking stall to find her car – a 2007 Dodge Calibre.

“Then she went on a shopping spree on my tap debit card,” said the victim.

The shopping was mostly done at the Jysk store in Pitt Meadows. The licence plates off the Calibre were discovered discarded in Pitt Meadows.

“I pride myself on being a watchful person, and I’m surprised she got me like that,” said the victim.

“I feel horrible. Taken by somebody, and it scares me how easily it was done.”

She advises people at the underground parking lot to shield the keypad as they enter their parking lot number. The thieves could also not have used her bank card if it didn’t have the tap-to-pay feature.

“I just want people to be aware, and watch your back, especially with Christmas coming.”

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