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Police warn Edmontonians to be aware of jewelry thieves

Police say a little girl left inside a parked car during extreme heat in Edmonton has died in hospital.
Police say a little girl left inside a parked car during extreme heat in Edmonton has died in hospital.

Edmonton – The Edmonton Police Service (EPS) says a group of jewelry thieves is targeting Edmontonians, particularly seniors and visible minorities.

Detectives, who are investigating a series of gold jewelry frauds and thefts, say in the past month police have received numerous reports from people who allegedly have had been defrauded or robbed.

Investigators say suspects tell stories to either tug on the heartstrings of victims or to create a desire for financial gain.

In some incidents, victims have reportedly purchased discounted fake gold jewelry believing it’s real. In other cases, people are allegedly distracted by one person while other suspects remove the victim’s jewelry and replace it with fakes.

Detectives say the suspects aren’t aggressive, rather they appear to be overly friendly.

“They get into people’s personal space and they distract them,” explains West Division Det. Dave Thomson in an EPS news release. “In some cases they hug the victim or grab their hand, in other cases they simply overwhelm the victim’s senses because there are multiple suspects touching them in multiple places while speaking to them.”

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Police say the suspects are middle aged, described as dark skinned men and women with eastern European accents.

There have been reports the suspects travel in a white vehicle; however, police believe the suspects are using a variety of vehicles.

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