Police warn of ‘distraction thefts’ targeting seniors and their jewelry

Vancouver police have received reports of eight cases of such theft in less than a month

A number of thefts where jewelry was stolen right off people’s necks or hands has Vancouver police urging vigilance, particularly amongst seniors.

“Distraction thefts,” police said Thursday, involve strangers approaching someone wearing visible necklaces and rings before making various excuses to make physical contact with them.

“These thieves are smooth and quickly get into your personal space. Victims usually don’t realize their jewelry has been taken until after the crooks are gone,” Const. Jason Doucette said.

“We are encouraging family and friends to tell the seniors in our communities about this scam, and remind them to be very cautious if someone enters their personal space.”

Police have received eight reports of distraction thefts in less than a month.

In one case, on May 22 just before 5 p.m., a 70-year-old Chinese woman was approached in her driveway by two suspects who began placing rings on her hands and a necklace around her neck.

The woman pulled away, but the suspects still managed to make off with a valuable necklace she’d already been wearing.

In another incident on May 30, an 80-year-old Italian woman was approached in front of her home, near Nanaimo Street and Oxford Street, by a frantic woman asking for directions to the hospital for her sick child.

The suspect hugged the woman to thank her and tried to steal her necklace. Police say the victim pushed off the suspect and was able to grab her jewelry back.

Police believe a number of suspects are involved and are asking anyone with information to call investigators at 604-717-0613.


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Dr. Lipjob avoids jail, gets 30-day suspended sentence

She will have to serve the 30 days in prison if she commits a breach during her two-year’s probation

Cloverdale’s Dan Gibbons remembered for his devotion, humour

Longtime local served with RCMP for more than 35 years

Surrey farmers taking stock of revamped Canada Food Guide

Products that were once big at the table — like meat and dairy — have been put on the back-burner

VIDEO: ‘The dog picks the job’: Meet the newest member of the Surrey RCMP

Cambria, a labrador-golden retriever mix, is the first victim services dog at the detachment

Surrey RCMP say men with gun steal Jeep from mom, daughter

Police say they are looking for video footage, and two South Asian suspects

Canada’s archive buys rare book that hints at Nazi plans for North America

The 1944 book may have served as a blueprint for a Nazi purge

B.C. hospital apologizes for veteran’s five-day hallway stay

Clinical director of Victoria General Hospital says case of retired veteran ‘definitely excessive’

Speaker Darryl Plecas says ‘justice’ needed for legislature employees

Plecas spoke to media at the opening of a pedestrian and cycling bridge in Abbotsford Wednesday

Advocate hopes B.C. legislature scandal leads to more transparency

‘Depressing’ that it takes a scandal to inspire freedom of information reform, says Sara Neuert

Ex-Mountie involved in Taser death at Vancouver airport sues government

Kwesi Millington claims he acted in accordance with RCMP training

47 men arrested by Vancouver police for allegedly seeking sex with teenage girls

Seven of those arrested have been charged as part of a two-month operation

Richmond businesses struggle to hire and keep staff because of high cost of housing

Chamber of commerce calls for diverse housing options, redevelopment of George Massey corridor

LETTER: Seniors home care, day programs expanding, Adrian Dix says

B.C. health minister responds to latest Seniors Advocate report

B.C. woman wins Instagram celebrity’s boob job contest

‘Kirill was here’ held a contest for women to win a boob job and a trip to Miami

Most Read