A band of thieves duping victims out of their jewelry in Vancouver is believed to be connected to a group responsible for two incidents in Abbotsford in the last week.
The Vancouver Police Department issued a press release on Tuesday, saying they have investigated 10 incidents since December in which a group of thieves have targeted elderly victims.
The thieves placed fake gold jewelry around the victims’ wrists and necks, then removed the fake items along with the victims’ own necklaces, rings and bracelets.
Const. Ian MacDonald said the Abbotsford Police Department (APD) received reports of similar thieves in this area on Thursday, April 18 and Monday, April 22.
In the first incident, a group of four or five people entered a clothing store in the old downtown core at about 5 p.m. and said they had some gold jewelry to sell.
One of the women then pretended to admire a ring worn by a male employee, and asked him to take it off so she could get a closer look.
Around the same time, a dispute broke out among the other people, causing the worker to intervene.
In the midst of the confusion, the woman left the store with the employee’s ring. A Dodge vehicle with a rental sticker was seen speeding away from the area.
The second incident involved occupants of a dark-coloured Dodge Neon trying to sell jewelry to pedestrians in the area of Mayfair and McCallum roads in downtown Abbotsford.
MacDonald said the individuals targeted people wearing gold jewelry and tried to convince them to buy jewelry that they were selling.
He said no one reported falling victim to the scam.
The only description provided by witnesses in either of the incidents was of a woman wearing a long flowing skirt with a floral pattern.
Descriptions of the culprits in the Vancouver incidents have included two women wearing head scarves and long skirts.
“We believe that they (the people in Abbotsford) might be connected to the larger group operating in the Lower Mainland,” MacDonald said.
Anyone with information or who would like to report suspicious activity is asked to call the Abbotsford Police Department at 604-859-5225.