Police recover $500K in stolen jewelry, seeking owners

York Regional Police are asking anyone who may have been robbed to check the Flickr album with photographs of recovered items

The owners of more than $500,000 in stolen jewelry recovered in a distraction theft investigation are being sought by the York Regional Police.

The distraction thefts and robberies that occurred across York Region in June typically involved two suspects in an SUV who would approach elderly victims and engage them in conversation. During the interactions, the suspects would replace the victims’ real jewelry with cheap costume jewelry, police said in a news release. In some instances, they used force and assaulted the victims in an attempt to remove the items.

Toronto residents Nicolaie Oinescu and Isaura Alesandru, both 26, were arrested June 5, and on June 16, officers executed search warrants and seized more than $500,000 worth of stolen jewelry.

Investigators are now trying to identify the rightful owners and have set up a Flickr album with photos of the recovered items.

The link is here: https://flic.kr/s/aHBqjAJseV

It’s believed the accused have been operating throughout the Greater Toronto Area, including Hamilton. Investigators are urging other victims, or anyone who recognizes their items, to contact the police.

Our investigators are sensitive to the fact that some victims may be reluctant to come forward, and encourage anyone who has been a victim of a distraction theft to contact the police. Friends and family who believe a loved one may have been a victim is asked to review the photos at the link above to recover their property.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the York Regional Police at 1-866-876-5423, ext. 7445. Anyone wanting to provide information anonymously can call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS or provide a tip online at www.1800222tips.com.

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