Vancouver Police are warning the elderly to be vigilant after receiving reports of six “distraction thefts” in South Vancouver in just two days.

All six cases involve a suspect getting out of a vehicle, and approaching an elderly woman who is on her own.

After a brief conversation, the thief makes physical contact with the victim and, in most cases, swaps the victim’s expensive jewelry with inexpensive jewelry. The victims were not aware that their jewelry has been taken until after the thief left.

The six incidents occurred on March 20 and March 21 between 3 and 5:30 p.m. The victims were approached on a sidewalk or in a yard. The suspect has been described as a short, heavy-set woman, with a dark, olive completion, and a round face, aged 40 to 50 years old, and wearing a white shawl.

“We are encouraging family and friends to tell seniors in our communities about this scam,” says Sergeant Jason Robillard, VPD. “Remind them to be very cautious if someone enters their personal space.”

Anyone who is approached by these suspects is asked to call 9-1-1 immediately. Anyone with information about these crimes, or victims who have not yet made a police report, are asked to call VPD investigators at 604-717-2541.