Police are warning shoppers in Lachute to be vigilant following a series of purse snatchings in local shops and public spaces.

The Sûréte du Quebec reports that most instances occurred when shoppers were distracted and left their handbags or valuables unattended for a few minutes.

Police are investigating more than a dozen instances of similar crimes.

In order to avoid becoming a victim of a purse snatching, police advise citizens to always keep their bags in view and to make sure that they are closed. You should not leave a purse or other valuables in a shopping cart, or on the back of a chair. Police recommend that you remain vigilant of your surroundings and to be alert for people acting in a suspicious behaviour.

Anyone with information related to these or other crimes is encouraged to contact the Sûréte du Quebec at 1 800 659 4264.