York Regional Police are looking for the owners of more than $500,000 in stolen jewelry following an investigation into alleged distraction thefts targeting older adults.
In a June press release, police said two 26-year-olds from Toronto were each facing two counts of robbery, plus charges for theft under $5,000 and possession of property obtained by crime under $5,000 in relation to the stolen items.
The police said that the suspects, operating an SUV, would approach and start speaking with older adults.
During their interactions, the suspects would allegedly replace the victims’ real jewelry with costume jewelry and in some cases used force to remove the items.
In one instance, the police allege that a 77-year-old man was “held and dragged alongside a moving vehicle while the suspects tried to remove his jewelry.”
The victim in that case sustained minor injuries, the police said.
In a second instance, a 63-year-old woman received minor injuries from an alleged assault by the suspects.
Last week, officers executed a search warrant which resulted in the seizure of $500,000 in jewelry related to the thefts.
The police released pictures of the jewelry including what appeared to be Rolex watches, necklaces engraved with initials and gold coins.
According to police, the suspects operated throughout the GTA, including Hamilton.
Last year, police warned of a similar distraction theft operation targeting older adults in the York Region, although it is not clear if the incidents are related.
Police are asking anyone with information or anyone who might recognize their items to contact them at 1-866-876-5423 or call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 1-800-222-8477.
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