Toronto

Police warning GTA seniors about distraction thefts

Several seniors in the GTA have been victims of apparent distraction thefts involving them being given worthless jewelry while their expensive jewelry was stolen.

Scam involves seniors distracted by small talk and requests for directions

Police say several seniors in the GTA have been victims of apparent distraction thefts involving them being given worthless jewelry by couples in cars and having their expensive jewelry stolen.

Several seniors in the GTA have been victims of apparent distraction thefts involving them being given worthless jewelry while their expensive jewelry was stolen.

Police say that over the last three months, six seniors were distracted by couples in cars who allegedly stole from them after asking for directions or engaging them in small talk.

In one case involving a 78-year-old man,  a five-year-old girl was sitting in the back seat of a car while "the passenger told the man he reminded her of her father and she wanted to give him something," police say.

"The passenger placed rings in the man's hand and a necklace around his neck. As the passenger placed new jewelry on the man, she removed his existing jewelry" before the car took off.

Police say that on July 9, an 85-year-old woman was the victim of a similar theft. They say a blue four-door car pulled up beside her and the passenger said, "Hi mom."

After the woman replied, "I am not your mother," the passenger grabbed the woman's hand and removed all the rings from the woman's hand, police say.

When the woman demanded her rings back, the passenger placed four new rings into the woman's purse pocket and the car drove away.

The driver is described as a man with brown or olive complexion, 24-25, with a tall, thin build, and short, straight dark-brown hair.

Police say the suspects appear to targeting victims who speak little or no English, and they believe there may be other victims.

Police are asking seniors to be vigilant and to report any suspicious behaviour.

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