Crime Alert: Distraction Theft – Necklace Grab

Crime Alert Crime Prevention

Crime Alert: Distraction Theft – Necklace Grab

A disturbing case of thieves taking advantage of an elderly resident occurred earlier this month. This kind of theft is sometimes described as a “distraction theft”.

A “newer” white van was parked on a street in lower Cabbagetown (between Spruce and Gerrard Streets) in early August. A man and woman were sitting in the van, and waved an elderly resident over while the resident was collecting her garbage cans. The woman in the van discussed having friends of similar heritage and claimed to have lived on the street in the past. Inexplicably, the woman in the van then tried to stuff a necklace into the resident’s pocket while at the same time grabbing a necklace and pendant from the resident’s neck. The thieves then drove away.

Fortunately, the resident was not hurt and the necklace was not too valuable however the pendant did have sentimental meaning to the resident. This incident was reported to the police at the time.

Update August 22, 2016
Toronto Police have requested the public’s assistance in this matter, and have reported a similar robbery that took place later the same day near Parliament Street and Wellesley Street East. The news release also mentions that a knife was displayed in both instances.

Public assistance sought with two Robbery investigations (

If you have any information on this crime, or any other – call Toronto Police. Also, be sure to report crimes of any severity or value to the police as they monitor these reports and assign resources accordingly. If you would like to let fellow residents know also, please contact us and let us know what you would be comfortable with us sharing.

Toronto Police:
416-808-2222 for non-emergency inquiries
911 for emergencies and crimes in progress
Toronto Police CORE (Citizen Online Report Entry)
Toronto Police Bicycle Registration Form

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