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VPD issues warning after more distraction thefts in South Van

Vancouver Police are investigating another spate of distraction thefts targeting seniors in South Vancouver, and remind residents to be wary of the scammers.

Three seniors in the Kensington and Fraserview neighbourhoods were targeted between August 20 and 21 by a man and woman driving a white vehicle. In each case, the suspects approached in the vehicle, called the victims over, and tried to give them fake jewelry. They then subtly removed real jewelry worn by the unsuspecting victims before taking off.

“Distraction thieves are successful because they use the element of surprise to confuse and overwhelm their victims,” says Const. Steve Addison, VPD. “They often target elderly people or visible minorities, and in most cases the victims don’t even realize they’ve been scammed until much later.”

The suspects in the most recent cases are described as a South Asian female, 30-35 years old, with long black hair, and a South Asian male, about 40-45 years old with short black hair. In each case they were said to be driving a white sedan or SUV.

The VPD is already investigating a number of distraction thefts that took place this summer on the city’s east side, and suspect many more have gone unreported because the victims are either embarrassed or simply think they’ve lost their jewelry. Residents are reminded to remain vigilant, not to let strangers into their personal space, and to call 911 immediately if they see a crime in progress.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Vancouver Police Major Crime Section at 604-717-2541 or Crime Stoppers at 1-1800-222-8477.‎