Police are searching for two men who they said stole money in a distraction theft at a bank in Smithtown last year and that detectives are pursuing the incident as a hate crime because they believe the suspects targeted the victim — and may have targeted other victims — because he is a senior citizen.

The incident began at a Chase bank branch on Route 347 on Oct. 31, Suffolk County police said.

advertisement | advertise on newsday

Police said one of the suspects followed the victim into the bank, then followed him to another nearby bank, New York Community Bank, with one of the suspects distracting the victim — while the other suspect broke into the victim’s car, stealing his cash. Police did not say how much was taken.

The theft took place at about 11:40 a.m.

Police said the suspects then fled in a small gray vehicle, but did not provide a vehicle description.

Detectives ask anyone with information to call Crime Stoppers at 800-220-8477. All calls will remain confidential.