Scam targets church jewelry

Surrey RCMP warning charitable groups about possible fraud.

  • Sep. 26, 2012 2:00 p.m.

Surrey RCMP is advising charitable groups to be cautious when granting access to their lost-and-found boxes after officials with a South Surrey church reported a possible fraud.

The incident occurred Sept. 17 at Good Shepherd Church, in the 2200-block of 150 Street.

Police say a couple arrived at the church asking about missing jewelry, then aggressively claimed ownership of a gold ring and earring after providing only a vague description of the items.

No proof of ownership was ever provided.

Based on descriptions of the couple, police believe the incident may be connected to similar incidents that have been reported over the past few years in Vancouver, North Vancouver and West Vancouver.

“(The suspects) modus operandi is to aggressively defraud employees at community centres and religious institutions into believing that they are the rightful owners of jewelry and other valuables from their lost-and-found boxes,” a police statement notes.

Both of the suspects in the South Surrey incident were Caucasian. The man is described as between 30 and 40 years old. He was neatly dressed, about six feet tall and had a slim build. The woman is also described as having a slender build. She was about five-foot-six, in her 30s, with brown, shoulder-length hair.

Anyone with information on the pair, or who has had a similar experience, is asked to call police at 604-599-0502 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.