San Francisco police investigate fake jewelry scheme

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SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) – Fake gold jewelry used to swindle people in San Francisco. 

San Francisco Police Department say a group is running a racket where they leave people with phony rings and necklaces and make off with the real thing. 

Officer Aadam Lobsinger says, ”The suspects come up to the victims and it’s a friendly interaction and before we know it the victim is missing jewelry or other valuable items by the time the interaction is complete.”

Lobsinger explains the crooks are targeting people in the city’s Richmond and Taraval Districts.

The suspects use tricks and distractions to pawn off the counterfeit jewels onto victim’s necks, wrists and hands and then steal the real silver and gold.

“The suspect or suspects in this case, use some type of sleight of hand technique to remove the items from the victim,” says Lobsinger.

A getaway car is usually waiting nearby so the thief can quickly take off.

Police say the robbers have done this at least 20 times in 2019, racking up around 55 thousand dollars in stolen items.  

People in the Asian community have been the primary victims.

Jeanne Wing from the Richmond District says, “A lot of have gold jewelry. A lot of us have expensive pieces.”

Wing says she often hides her jewelry when shes out and is always on the lookout for bad actors.

“You think you’re in a safe neighborhood, but any neighborhood something like this could happen,” said Wing.

Police stress not to be played for a fool.

Lobsinger says, “Be mindful of your surroundings. Pay attention to what this person’s looking for. If it seems too good to be true, it probably is.”

Authorities say if you have been a victim of these types of crimes to call police. Police also advise if you believe you have bought fake jewelry, have it tested.

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