By Robert Frank
Laval police are warning elderly citizens to be wary of seemingly affable strangers who approach them on the street.
“They might ask you for directions or how to find a store in the neighbourhood or something like that,” Const. Nathalie Lorrain told The Suburban. “The suspects are mainly women, usually dressed in very dark clothes—long dresses and coats—and they sometimes wear a kerchief.”
“They’re very polite, very friendly and use language that sets people at ease in order to get their confidence,” she cautioned. “Then, to thank you, they shake your hand or pat you on the back and, if you have a watch or a bracelet or a necklace, they will steal it very rapidly—sometimes the victim doesn’t even notice for several minutes that the item is gone.”
“Sometimes they will offer to sell you a necklace, which they will place around your neck. When they remove it, your necklace will also be gone. They’re very fast and very professional,” Const. Lorrain explained.
“Most of the victims are elderly women, but a few are elderly men as well,” she continued. “We’ve had about 20 such cases during the past few months. There have also been a lot in Montreal and other suburbs.”
“The perpetrators are between 30- to 50-years-old and speak with an Eastern European accent,” she said, “and one of the ladies apparently has a gold tooth.”
“The male suspects are usually drivers who stay in the car and do not approach the victims.”
“If someone fitting this description approaches you and tries to hug you or shake your hand, we’re asking you to decline, if you are suspicious, and to let police know the license plate number and description of the suspects’ car.”
Most of the Laval robberies have been concentrated in Chomedey and Laval des Rapides.
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