On Thursday, March 7, 2019, an 86-year-old female was in the parking lot of a business in the area of 124 Avenue and 153 Street when she was reportedly approached by an unknown male and female in a black Dodge Durango. While speaking to the complainant, the female suspect reportedly placed fake gold rings on the woman’s fingers and a fake gold necklace around her neck, removing the wedding ring and necklace that she was wearing in the process. The suspects then allegedly drove away.
On Sunday, March 10, 2019, a similar incident reportedly took place in the parking lot of a grocery store in the area of 173 Street and Stony Plain Road. A 75-year-old male reported that while attempting to exit his vehicle he was blocked by an unknown female. The female then reportedly placed fake gold jewelry on his hands and wrists, removed his gold watch and quickly left the parking lot with an unknown male in a black SUV.
Investigators believe the two incidents in west Edmonton are linked and may involve the same suspects. In each incident the suspects are described as an adult male and female with a dark skin tone, dark hair and heavy accents that may be Eastern European or Middle Eastern. The female was also described as wearing a full length dress and a head scarf and both suspects reportedly drove rental vehicles that officers believe they may be switching regularly.
Detectives continue to actively investigate these incidents and believe the suspects are likely travelling across Alberta committing similar thefts. As a result, officers are concerned there may be additional complainants in Edmonton and are encouraging them to come forward.
Photos of the fake jewelry used by the suspects are included below.
Police are also warning the public, in particular seniors, to be aware of their surroundings when in parking lots and to be extra vigilant if approached by strangers who are trying to give away or sell something. Citizens are advised to look around when approaching theirs vehicles and, if they notice suspicious individuals approaching, change direction and proceed to the nearest public area.
Anyone who believes they may have been victimized is asked to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can also be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online at www.p3tips.com/250.