Vancouver Police issue distraction robbery advisory, gold jewellery targeted


RECENT incidents in Vancouver have prompted yet another warning about distraction robberies.

The first two incidents happened on November 22 between noon and 3 p.m. – one near East 47th Avenue and Knight Street, and the other at East Pender and Renfrew Street.

A third incident occurred on Wednesday, November 26, shortly before 2 p.m., in the area of East 2nd Avenue and Renfrew Street.

On Thursday (November 27), two more distraction robberies were reported to police. One of the robberies took place near Trout Lake and the other was an attempt robbery at East 57th Avenue and Ross Street.

In all five cases, as with those in the past, the targeted victims were openly wearing gold earrings, necklaces, bracelets or rings when they were approached by multiple suspects.

The strangers then placed, or attempted to place, fake jewellery around the victim’s head, neck or wrist. Using slight-of-hand techniques, they then removed the victim’s gold jewellery, leaving behind the fake items in its place.

Suspect descriptions differ and police believe that there are multiple distraction theft groups travelling from city to city and province to province.

Investigators are working with other police agencies in the Lower Mainland and other major cities across Canada in an attempt to identify and arrest individuals responsible for these crimes.

The Vancouver Police Department would like to remind the public of the following tips:

* if you wear jewellery in public, conceal valuable items under your clothing

* don’t allow anyone you don’t know into your personal space

* clearly tell the person that you are not interested, and for them to leave you alone

* draw attention to the situation

* call 9-1-1 and report the crime to police immediately

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.