Collier County deputies seek man connected to distraction theft suspects - 96.9 WINK FM

Collier County deputies seek man connected to distraction theft suspects


The Collier County Sheriff’s Office has released a composite sketch of a man sought in connection with distraction theft suspects who are targeting senior citizens for their jewelry.

CCSO says the thieves in recent distraction thefts typically use a ruse to approach senior citizens, usually in grocery store parking lots, and remove the victims’ watch or jewelry without them noticing.

Victims told detectives they were approached by a man, accompanied by one or two women, who then struck up a conversation with them. During these conversations, the suspects used various ruses to distract the victims, such as asking for directions and then requesting the victim put the information into their phone. While the victims were busy typing the information, the thieves were simultaneously removing the victim’s jewelry.

In some cases, the suspects asked the victims to pray with them for a sick family member. After praying, the suspects offered the victims jewelry in gratitude. While placing the fake jewelry on the victims, the suspects managed to remove the victims’ personal jewelry.

CCSO’s safety tips:

Walk in groups or pairs
Don’t wear jewelry of value on trips to the store or keep it hidden under your clothing
Be aware of your surroundings
Look for vehicles or people who may be following you or seem out of place
Report unusual activity to law enforcement

If you recognize him or have information about his identity, please contact the Collier County Sheriff’s Office at 252-9300. If you wish to remain anonymous call Southwest Florida Crime Stoppers at 1-800-780-8477.


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