A warning has been issued by police, after a series of street robberies involving older women, many of them from Toronto's Italian community.

According to police an organized crime ring is stealing jewelry from the women - from right around their necks.

Police say the thieves drive up to a woman on the street and then engage them in conversation. 

"Sometimes they were trying to sell them jewelry. Sometimes asking for directions, or for funds to travel abroad," said Det.-Sgt. Colin Greenaway. 

At the end of the conversation there's a hug - and during that embrace, when the victim is distracted, the thief slips off the elderly woman's real jewellery and replaces it with fake pieces.

Police say it's often hours before the victim realizes what's happened.

The victims are between the age of 77 and 88 and mainly Italian-speaking.

Ten women were targeted in the past week all in the York-Weston area.  Eight women were robbed and there were two other unsuccessful attempts.

But police believe it is happening all over the GTA and have joined forces with Durham Regional and York Regional police.

Police are looking for two female suspects.

They say one of the suspects speaks Italian, the other, described as Eastern European-looking, drives the car.