Two men arrested in string of distraction thefts, additional suspect remains at large
UPDATE: Petrisor Adrian MARIOR was located and taken into custody in another jurisdiction.
Thank you to the public and media for your assistance.
We have arrested and charged two men in connection to a string of distraction theft cases and identified a third man who is wanted on warrants.
From late January to early February 2023, 12 distraction theft cases, costing victims nearly $100,000, were reported to police. Through a rapidly evolving and complex investigation, we identified the involvement of three men who were believed to be targeting vulnerable victims shopping at major retail chains to steal their financial information.
In each incident, CCTV footage showed one suspect observing a victim while they entered their debit or credit card PIN to make a purchase, then the other two suspects approaching the victim and distracting them to create an opportunity to steal their debit and credit cards.
Following these encounters, victims reported to police that their debit and credit cards were missing, and that fraudulent transactions and cash withdrawals were made.
On Thursday, March 9, 2023, two of the three suspects were arrested and charged in connection to all 12 reported cases.
Florian PAUN, 42, and Ion TIRNA, 55, have each been charged with 29 theft and fraud related offenses, for a total of 58 charges.
- Five counts of possession of stolen property under $5,000
- Five counts of defrauding a person under $5,000
- Five counts of theft of a credit card
- Four counts of possession of a stolen credit card
- Four counts of theft under $5,000
- Three counts of defrauding a person over $5,000
- Two counts of possession of stolen property over $5,000
- One count of illegal use of a credit card
“Upon arrest, we found PAUN and TIRNA in possession of stolen credit cards belonging to an individual who was a victim of their scam but had yet to file a police report,” said Const. Shaun Vandal of the Calgary Police Service. “We have determined that the offenders continued to target victims up until their arrest on March 9. We are asking for anyone who believes they were a victim of distraction theft between late January and early March 2023 to contact us and file a report.”
PAUN will next appear in court on Monday, March 20, 2023.
TIRNA will next appear in court on Monday, March 27, 2023.
We are also asking for the public’s help to locate the third suspect, Petrisor Adrian MARIOR, 24, who is wanted on warrants for 29 theft and fraud related offenses in connection to these incidents. MARIOR is described as approximately 5’9” to 6’ tall, with a medium-to-heavy build, brown hair and brown eyes.
Anyone with information about MARIOR’s whereabouts, or anyone who has yet to report that they may have been a victim of this distraction theft scam, is asked to contact police by calling 403-266-1234. Tips can also be submitted anonymously to Crime Stoppers through any of the following methods:
APP: P3 Tips
Case # CA23047790/5545