Ottawa police are warning residents about a unique kind of jewelry theft scam happening throughout the city.
Since Aug. 10, at least 20 cases have been reported. In each, women said they were approached by two other women who asked for directions or tried to sell a gold necklace.
The women would place a gold necklace on the victim, sometimes saying it was a gift. When the suspects removed it, they also took the victim's own necklace without them knowing.
Police said that in most cases, the suspects left the scene by the time the victims realized what happened.
In some cases, a man in a vehicle was seen picking up and dropping off the two suspects.
The thefts happened at Herongate Mall, the Villa Marconi long-term care facility on Baseline Road, Montfort Hospital and an Esso gas station on Prince of Wales Drive.
The first suspect is described by police as a 25 to 30-year-old South Asian, Middle Eastern or Hispanic woman with tanned skin. She spoke English with an accent.
The second suspect is described as a 50 to 60-year-old South Asian, Middle Eastern or Hispanic woman with tanned skin. She also spoke English with an accent, police said.
Police said the man involved has been spotted in different vehicles, either a dark four-door sedan or a white, gold or dark minivan.
Anyone approached by people wanting to sell a gold necklace or other jewelry are asked to say no and call police immediately at (613) 230-6211.
Anyone with information on the thefts are asked to call Ottawa police at (613) 236-1222 ext. 3566 (for the east division), ext. 2266 (for the west division) or ext. 5166 (for central division).