Windsor Police, OPP warn of necklace distraction scam

·2 min read

Windsor Police and Essex County OPP are both reporting incidents of a distraction scam in which victims' necklaces were stolen on Sunday.

In both cases suspects approached their targets in a white SUV.

Windsor Police said they responded to a report of a theft Sunday in the 4200 block of Kennedy Drive E. at approximately 11:30 a.m. The victim, an elderly woman, said that while she was outside that morning a white SUV pulled up to her home. A woman in the vehicle asked her for directions to a medical office.

Afterwards, the woman exited the SUV and insisted on giving the victim jewlery as a thank you gesture. After the vehicle departed, the victim discovered that her own valuable necklace had been stolen and replaced with costume jewellery, said police.

The woman is described as female, between 30 and 40 years old, with long black hair and dark eyes, and wearing a long skirt and white shirt. The victim described both the woman and her male driver to be of Middle Eastern descent.

Similar distraction scam in Essex County

Later that day, similar circumstances arose in Essex County. OPP say at about 3:45 p.m., a white GMC Terrain SUV stopped a woman in her driveway on Harvey Street, in Essex.

Police say the female passenger asked for directions to a local dentist. The passenger then exited the vehicle and attempted to give the victim a necklace as a reward for her help.

The victim declined the offer, but the woman placed a necklace on her all the same, before she got in the SUV and left. When the victim entered her house, the fake necklace fell off and she discovered that her own necklace, a 96-year-old family heir loom, had been stolen, said police.

The victim described the woman as a short female with an accent who was wearing a mask and appeared to be around 50-years-old. She described the driver as having dark hair and a black moustache.

Both police departments are warning the public that the scammers rely on the trust of victims. They're also asking anyone with information to contact them — OPP at 1-888-310-1122 and Windsor Police at 519-255-6700 ext. 4350.