July 9, 2014 4:48 pm

Vancouver Police warning about jewelry distraction thefts

File photo.

AP Photo/Richard Drew

Vancouver Police are once again warning about jewelry distraction thefts.

Police say there have been eight distraction thefts and robberies reported in the past four days in Vancouver.

Thieves are targeting people wearing gold earrings, necklaces and rings.

The victims are typically approached by one or two strangers who overwhelm them by talking and placing fake jewelry around the victim’s head, neck or wrist.  The thief removes the victim’s jewelry and leaves behind the fake jewelry in its place. In one case, a victim was physically restrained by one suspect while the other suspect removed their jewelry.

Suspects are described as men and women of varying age, with medium to dark skin.

The women often wear flowing dresses and scarves. On a number of occasions, the thief has left in a waiting car driven by another person.

Police say the latest incidents occurred at the following locations:

  • 5300-blk Rhodes
  • 4400-blk Rupert St.
  • 3100-blk East 5 Ave
  • 3600-blk Wellington
  • 3800-blk Wales
  • 5300-blk Chambers
  • 6100-blk Wales
  • 8000-blk Prince Albert

Police believe that there are multiple distraction theft groups working in the Lower Mainland. These crime groups often travel from city-to-city and province-to-province.

Vancouver Police offer the following tips:

  • if you wear jewelry, conceal valuable items under your clothing when in public
  • don’t allow anyone you don’t know into your personal space
  • clearly tell the person that you are not interested, and for them to leave you alone
  • draw attention to the situation
  • call 9-1-1 and report the crime to police

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.

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