Elderly South Asian women are the latest targets in a string of distraction thefts.
Vancouver Police think the thieves are zeroing in on the women for the gold jewellery they traditionally wear.
All police know so far is that it’s a small group of people who are targeting women on the city’s South Slope. Sergeant Randy Fincham tells us several victims came forward last week alone.
“Someone comes up and says ‘Hello’ in Hindi and then has a full on conversation with the person,” he explains. “Meanwhile, they’re taking off their necklace, they’re taking off their bracelet, they’re taking off their rings and it’s not until the person turns around to walk away [that] they recognize their ring is missing or their bracelet is missing and the suspect is now gone with their property.”
Fincham says investigators believe they’re nailed down a motive.
“One of the things we’re looking at is the possibility that the South Asian community is being targeted because they’re wearing gold that is of high gold content that, on the market, can be easily be melted down or can be sold on the market as just raw gold.”
The VPD has shot a video (attached to this article), in which they re-created the crime; it’s goal is to warn the community of what’s happening.
“This has lead us to be very concerned for [the South Slope] area and we’re taking steps to both educate and conduct enforcement in that area to hopefully stop this from happening further,” adds Fincham.
If you’ve been scammed or know someone who has, you are asked to call Vancouver Police.