VANCOUVER Police said on Friday that tips from the public have led to the identification and arrest of a 21-year-old man believed to be responsible for a series of distraction thefts.
Between November 22 and December 1, nine distraction thefts were reported to the Vancouver Police. All of the incidents are believed to be the work of the same crime group.
In all of the cases, victims who were openly wearing gold earrings, necklaces, bracelets and rings were approached by strangers who engaged them in conversation. The strangers then placed fake jewellery around the victim’s necks or wrists. While using sleight-of-hand, the thieves removed the victim’s gold jewellery, leaving behind worthless trinkets.
After receiving a number of tips from the public, four possible suspects were identified by police as they attempted to board an eastbound flight out of Vancouver on December 2. All four men were questioned by investigators; one man was arrested and the other three men were released.
Spaniol Alexandru, 21, has been charged with one count of theft under $5,000. He has been released pending his next court appearance on December 17.
Police believe that there are other victims out there who have had dealings with this group, and have not yet spoken with police.
Anyone with information about any of these crimes is asked to contact the Vancouver Police Major Crime Section at (604) 717-2541 or Crime Stoppers at 1 (800) 222-8477.