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Vancouver police warn ‘distraction thefts’ targeting seniors are back

The Vancouver police re-enact distraction theft in a YouTube video. YouTube

Vancouver police are warning that a popular theft tactic targeting seniors is circulating once again.

Police say they’re investigating a string of “distraction thefts” believed to be linked to an organized crime group.

READ MORE: Police bust 2 suspects in string of East Vancouver distraction thefts

“There have been multiple thefts reported in the past few weeks,” said Const. Tania Visintin in a media release.

“The thief distracts the victim, prior to stealing from them. We have issued warnings in the past, but with the recent cases, are again encouraging residents to be aware and report suspicious activity.”

WATCH: Coverage of Metro Vancouver distraction thefts on Globalnews.ca

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Police believe they are dealing with multiple suspects.

According to police, victims are approached by a female suspect who makes physical contact through a handshake or a hug.

The suspect then puts a piece of fake jewelry on the victim, while stealthily removing their expensive jewelry, before fleeing in a getaway vehicle, which is usually driven by a man, police said.

READ MORE: Police in Vancouver, West Vancouver issue new distraction theft warnings

In some cases children have been used as a part of the distraction, while in others the suspect has stopped victims near the highway claiming a family member is in trouble, and offering expensive-looking jewelry as collateral for cash.

Police are asking anyone who believes they have been a victim of the scam to contact authorities.

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