PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Thieves using “suspicious tactics” are being sought in at least 3 instances that left victims out more than $10,000 in jewels and money, the Washington County Sheriff’s Office said.
Three of the incidents happened in Aloha and Cedar Mills in the past 4 days while a possible 4th incident happened in Hilllsboro in late July.
In the Aloha incident, the suspects pulled up in front of a home and called the victim, Thomas Xavier, over to their car, a Jeep Cherokee with California plates. They said they were going to give him a necklace as part of a “cultural tradition.”
Xavier told KOIN 6 News it’s common for Indian men to wear real 22-24k gold. He said he’s heard from some of his Indian friends that they’ve been targeted for their jewelry.
“When my mom was wearing that necklace all the time when she died I got it as an inheritance. And it was on me soon after she died,” Thomas Xavier told KOIN 6 News. “I felt my mom is with me all the time. I never took it off just because it’s my mom.”
In this case, he said the pair put the gift necklace on his neck along with other jewelry and $5 cash, then distracted him and took the real necklace off without him realizing it.
In the second report, the same couple approached an elderly woman in the Cedar Mill neighborhood and told her they wanted to give her a ring as a gift. They allegedly pulled off her engagement ring and promised to place their gift ring on her finger before returning her engagement ring.
The thieves then allegedly gave the woman a bag with a sock, which they claimed had her ring in it and some more fake jewelry. After the thieves left, the woman reported her ring was not inside the sock.
In the third report, the couple allegedly walked up to a man outside a store in the Cedar Mill area and took money out of the man’s wallet, which he was wearing around his neck. The man said he demanded his money back. The thieves gave him a sock with paper in it and left, authorities said.
Later Sunday afternoon, Washington County investigators later provided a photo connected to a 4th possible incident, this one from July 27.
That day, people in a newer black Mercedes 4-matic SUV with Virginia plates approached a person in the Winco parking lot in Hillsboro, officials said. The passenger called from their car window and told the person they wanted to give them a ring. But that person did not approach the Mercedes and no crime was committed.
The suspects — a man and woman — both have a “strong foreign accent, possibly Middle Eastern,” authorities said. The woman is about 5-feet-4 with mid-length dark hair. The man is about 5-feet-10 with short dark hair and a short beard.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Washington County Sheriff’s Office at 503.846.2700.