Distraction thieves targeted an 87-year-old victim in an elaborate con to get their hands on her jewelry. Broward Sheriff’s Office Robbery Unit detectives are releasing a sketch of one of the thieves and urging witnesses, as well as other possible victims, to come forward.
Just after 11:30 a.m. on April 30, an elderly victim noticed a woman in her yard near the 7100 block of Canella Court, so she ventured out to inquire. The unidentified woman said she worked for the city of Tamarac and was measuring the embankment by the lake so the city could install a wall.
During the conversation, an unidentified man appeared in the yard. The man said he was a city worker as well and was spraying trees in the victim’s yard. When the victim reached down toward a tree, the man sprayed her hand with what he said was a poisonous chemical.
The thieves told the victim to go inside immediately and wash her hands. The man followed her into her kitchen to "help". He told her to remove both her rings. The victim was hesitant to comply and worried about removing her wedding ring. The suspect insisted and forced the rings from her fingers. The victim yelled out in pain, but the thief would not stop.
While the conman worked on getting the victim’s rings, his partner rummaged through the rest of the house.
Once ruse had played out, the thief headed back out to the yard. The victim soon followed but found both the thieves were long gone, as were both her rings, a pair of gold earrings and a pair of diamond earrings.
The male is described as approximately 50 years old, about 5 foot 9 inches tall and weighing about 180 pounds, with gray hair and a scruffy gray beard. The female is also about 50 years old. The victim described her as having brown curly hair, being about 5 foot 6 inches tall and weighing about 140 pounds.
Anyone with information is asked to contact BSO Robbery Detective Mark Copley at 954-321-4238. If you wish to remain anonymous, contact Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477) or online at browardcrimestoppers.org. Anonymous tips that lead to an arrest are eligible for a reward of up to $3,000.
THIS REPORT BY: Gina Carter/PIO