Metro Vancouver Transit Police have arrested two people after a series of distraction thefts at stations along the Canada Line and are looking for a third person.
Police have investigated 10 incidents where SkyTrain passengers have had their wallets or purses stolen by two men and a woman.
In each case, one or more members from the group will offer to help someone at the ticket vending machine with the goal of getting close enough to watch the person enter their debit or credit card PIN number.
Once the person has bought their transit fare other members of the group follow them and distract the person by bumping into them or engaging them in conversation.
The suspect then steals the victim's wallet or purse and uses their debit or credit card to make large purchases. Police say some of the victims have lost over $5,000.
Police have released an edited video, “Anatomy of a Distraction Theft”, of one of the incidents involving these three suspects. This incident occurred at Broadway-City Hall Canada Line Station on July 15, 2018.
On July 21 at 2 p.m. Transit Police officers at Yaletown Station spotted a man and woman they recognized from a police bulletin as suspects involved in the distraction thefts.
Police arrested 31-year-old Ricardo Oprea and 31-year-old Alina Raducanu -- both who were wanted on Canada-wide immigration warrants. They were remanded in custody pending immigration hearings.
Raducanu appeared for her immigration hearing on July 26 and was arrested by Transit Police officers as she left the hearing but was released on a promise to appear in court on October 11.
Oprea appeared for his immigration hearing on July 31 and was remanded in custody until a second immigration hearing on August 28.
Police say the third suspect was spotted on video boarding a train at Yaletown Station when officers were arresting the other two suspects.
The third suspect has been identified as 30-year-old Auras Yanis Raducanu who has an outstanding Canada-wide immigration warrant and is believed to be the husband of Alina Raducanu.
He is described as an eastern European male of average height, slim build, with short dark brown hair, brown eyes and dark framed glasses.
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 and refer to file #18-13497 or text 87 77 77.