A band of thieves is now targeting Vancouverites by using sleight of hand to dupe victims out of their jewellery.

Since December of 2012, the Vancouver Police Department has investigated 10 incidents where a group of bandits have been distracting unsuspecting elderly victims by placing fake gold jewellery around their wrists and necks. The thieves then removed the fake jewellery along with the victim’s own necklaces, rings and bracelets, and drove off in a waiting car.

Witnesses described two women of Eastern European descent, between 30 and 50 years old, who spoke broken English. The women wore long skirts and scarves covering their heads. In some incidents, witnesses said the thieves were a man and woman. They’ve all been seen leaving in cars with varying descriptions, some with Quebec license plates.

The Vancouver Police Department would like to remind residents to be alert and report any suspicious persons or activity to police.

Anyone with information about these thefts is asked to call the Vancouver Police at (604) 717-3200 or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477.

Safety Tips

  • be cautious of strangers offering jewellery for sale on the street
  • be aware of your surroundings at all times
  • travel along well-lit streets
  • know where you’re going and walk with a sense of purpose with your head up high
  • keep your purse and belongings close to your body so they aren’t easily grabbed