Police say thieves are distracting elderly victims and stealing their jewelry.
In two recent incidents, thieves distracted their victims by placing fake jewelry around their necks, and removing their authentic jewelry.
An 85-year-0ld Asian woman had her necklace and rings stolen near Victoria Drive and East 36th Avenue on Monday.
In a second incident on Tuesday, a 98-year-old South Asian woman also was approached, but the thief was scared off by the victim’s screams for help while her earrings were being taken out. The thief was unsuccessful.
Police say there’s been over 215 incidents of distraction theft reported since December 2012. Over $250,000 in jewelry has been lost, much of it irreplaceable.
“These thieves continue to prey on the most vulnerable, our parents and grandparents, and are robbing them of valuable family heirlooms,” says VPD spokesperson Sergeant Randy Fincham.
It’s not clear if the incidents are linked, and police believe multiple people may be operating the distraction scam.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Vancouver Police Major Crime Section at (604) 717-2541 or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477.
© Shaw Media, 2014