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

Chilliwack prolific offender wanted yet again

B.C.-wide warrant issued for David Allen Geoghegan

One man, two women charged with stolen pickup downtown Chilliwack

None of the three have criminal history in B.C.

COLUMN: Should elected officials block constituents and reporters on social media?

Ottawa mayor was sued for doing that but a Chilliwack school trustee didn’t get that message

Chilliwack-Hope MP says new summer jobs grant application no longer includes ‘values test’

Those with anti-abortion beliefs left out last year because of requirement to respect the Charter

Ask the Coach: Chilliwack Chiefs bench boss Brian Maloney talks shootouts

Ask the Coach is a bi-weekly feature where Maloney gives unfiltered answers to fan questions.

VIDEO: U.S. Congress to probe whether Trump told lawyer Cohen to lie

At issue is a BuzzFeed News report that about negotiations over a Moscow real estate project

Rookie Demko backstops Canucks to 4-3 win over Sabres

Young Vancouver goalie makes 36 saves to turn away Buffalo

Charges upgraded against mother of murdered B.C. girl

Kerryann Lewis now faces first- rather than second-degree murder in the death of Aaliyah Rosa.

UPDATE: Injured firefighter in stable condition

Kelowna fire crews responded to a blaze at Pope’sGallery of BC Art & Photography on Friday

Book a ride on a driverless shuttle in Surrey or Vancouver

Automated vehicle demos are being offered, as the two cities plan pilot projects with the shuttles

Heavy snowfall expected on the Coquihalla

Snowfall warning in effect for the Coquihalla Highway, from Hope to Merritt

Rare ‘super blood wolf moon’ takes to the skies this Sunday

Celestial event happens only three times this century

Arrest made after historic B.C. church hit by arson

The fire at the 150-year-old Murray United Church in Merritt was considered a possible hate crime

Missing man from Crowsnest Pass could be in Lower Mainland

58-year-old Stuart David Duff was last seen on Jan. 6, 2019.

Most Read