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Calgary police investigating spike in distraction jewelry theft

Imagine someone randomly approaches a person in public to sell some jewelry and is a little more touchy or pushy then a sales person should be; it’s a sign there may be a theft or robbery in process.

The Calgary Police Service is warning the public about a spike in distraction jewelry thefts which are targeting the elderly, non-English speakers, anyone who appears vulnerable, and especially people wearing necklaces.

Staff sgt. Geoff Gawlinski said there have been 17 of these types of thefts this year, all with varying descriptions of the suspect(s).
Ten of the incidents happened this past weekend and are believed to have been done by the same person or persons.

Gawlinski said these cases are particularly difficult as the victim doesn’t usually realize they are missing jewelry right away.

“We’re just trying to make people aware that once you’re engaged by these kind of people, in these kind of bizarre requests to try on jewelry and buy it, and they have a story to go with it, they need to help a relative that’s far away, or they need to leave town, that’s when you really need to get your guard up,” he said.

Police are hoping tips from the public on both suspects and vehicle descriptions will help catch the people responsible.

Gawlinski said buying jewelry from individuals on the street is not recommended.