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

Two 23-year-old men die in separate Surrey motorcycle crashes in three days

One man died Thursday night after his motorcycle crashed on Highway 10, and another man died following a Tuesday crash

Take-home naloxone may be replacing 911 calls in Fraser Health area

Naloxone kits handed out up 29% over 2017, ambulance calls and emergency visits down 22-24%, deaths hold steady

334 brush and grass fires in Surrey since May 1

Surrey Fire Service says so far this month, there’s been at least 60

THE SCENE

Arts and Entertainment on the Semiahmoo Peninsula

Renegades ‘02 undefeated through two days at softball nationals

White Rock ‘04 and ‘05 squads also at Canadian championships in Montreal

VIDEO: Surrey to host Western Regional Quidditch Championship in 2019

The fictional game in the Harry Potter series has become popular around the world, with 600 athletes in Canada alone

Reported home invasion led to seven arrests in Maple Ridge

Port Coquitlam home invasion suspects tracked to Albion neighbourhood

Tim Hortons says its China expansion will include menu with congee, matcha

Coffee chain plans to open 1,500 stores in Asia over the next decade

How to help B.C. wildfire victims

Donations being taken by many organizations, BC Hydro waiving bills

5 to start your day

Mt. Hicks fire near Agassiz 15% contained, man dead in Surrey motorcycle incident and more

Whole city of Kimberley on an evacuation alert due to wildfires

Residents woke up Friday morning being told to get ready to leave any moment

Feds to allow charities to engage in political, but not partisan, activity

The plan is to allow charities to pursue political activities

Trump suggests Canada has been sidelined from latest NAFTA negotiations

Canadian officials have insisted they’re unfazed by being left out of the discussions

B.C. judge who cried during a victim statement to rule on recusing herself

The judge will decide if she’ll disqualify herself from sentencing a man for sexual assault

Most Read