Seniors targeted in distraction thefts

The DRPS has issued a warning urging residents to be wary of distraction thefts following a pair of incidents.

According to police, an 86-year-old Pickering resident was a recent victim of a distraction theft where he had his gold jewelry taken and was given fake gold. Another 74-year-old Whitby resident also was victimized in a similar incident in July.

“On Tuesday, Sept. 3, the victim was seated outside his residence near Altona Road and Pine Grove Avenue in Pickering when an unknown vehicle pulled up to his driveway. The couple gestured the elderly male to come to the vehicle. The elderly male reluctantly approached the car and this was when the driver gave him what appeared to be gold jewelry. The female passenger then got out of the vehicle and hugged the victim. The female got back into the vehicle and they drove away. The victim later realized that he had his gold pendant stolen and the jewelry left by the suspects was fake jewelry,” reads a media release from police.

“Another incident occurred on Sunday, July 7 at approximately 2:15 p.m. The victim was walking on Pringle Drive in Whitby when a couple in a vehicle approached him and the couple asked him for directions. The female was very grateful and exited the vehicle to give him a hug. The couple then drove away. The elderly male realized later that he had his gold necklace stolen.”

While the incidents may not be related, they are similar in nature, police noted.

In the first incident, the suspects are described as a male and female, possibly European. They were driving a sedan.

In the second incident, the suspects are described as male and female, possibly European. They were driving a silver vehicle with a baby seat in the rear.

“In these two specific cases seniors are being targeted, however fraudsters are also targeting all demographics. Investigators ask members of the community to be mindful of their surroundings at all times and always protect your valuables,” reads a media release from police.

“Fraudsters can be persuasive and if someone appears suspicious, don’t engage them in conversation. The Durham Regional Police Service would like to remind the public to be vigilant of their personal safety in all surroundings.”

Anyone with information about this type of incident is asked to call the DRPS at 1-888-579-1520.

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