Kent Police issued a crime alert Monday about suspects targeting elderly people for their jewelry.
“We have received reports of several thefts that have distinct similarities in method and believe that the incidents are related,” according to a July 26 police statement.
The suspects, working as a team, target elderly people who are alone, working in the yard, walking on the street or in a parking lot. They approach in a friendly manner striking up a conversation with the victim, using the conversation as a distraction while another suspect places cheap custom jewelry on the victim.
The suspect then takes necklaces, watches and rings off the victim under the guise that they are trading jewelry, according to police. When the victim protests the suspects return similar looking items that were just stolen and then flee in a vehicle leaving the victim confused to what had occurred.
Some of the stolen jewelry has been of considerable value.
The suspects have been described as Romanian or East Indian descent. Reports indicate the man is 30 to 40 years old, 5 feet 6 inches tall with a medium build and short black hair mustache and short beard. One of the women is 25 to 35 years-old, 4 feet 11 inches to 5 feet 5 inches tall with a heavy build with black hair.
A second woman was described as 60 to 65 years old with a heavy build with black hair. It was further reported the suspects spoke with a thick accent. The suspects have been associated with several vehicles, including a white van, a black four-door sedan and a black Ford SUV.
There may be more incidents like these that have not been reported to Kent Police. Anyone with information that could lead to the identity of the suspects should contact the Kent Police nonemergency line at 253-852-2121. If you are the victim of an in-progress crime, call 911.