Calgary police are warning the public about a recent string of thefts where victims are distracted with offers of jewelry for sale and then robbed of their own necklaces.

There have been 17 incidents this year and 10 of them have happened since last Friday — most frequently in north Calgary neighbourhoods, police said.

In some cases the culprits approach their victims as they get out of their vehicles, offering them jewelry for sale, even placing fake gold necklaces around their necks.

“In the process, they steal items of jewelry, usually necklaces, from the victims,” police said in news release.

In other cases the suspects told victims they were having financial trouble and needed to sell their jewelry at bargain prices.

In some cases, victims have been elderly not proficient in English.

The male and female suspects, who range in age from 18 to 60, are described as Caucasian, Middle Eastern and eastern European.

“Calgarians should be aware of their surroundings, and cautious of people they don’t know approaching them to sell jewelry,” police said.

“Buying jewelry from individuals on the street is not recommended, as it is difficult to confirm the authenticity of the items.”

Anyone with information about the incidents, or the suspects’ identities, is asked to call police or Crime Stoppers.