Distraction Crime Spree

October 17, 2003

Distraction Crime Spree

A four-person gang has carried out distraction thefts at retail jewelry chains in seven states, reports the Jewelers' Security Alliance. The suspects take use a variety of means to distract employees and steal merchandise. Some tactics include taking unsecured keys and climbing under showcases to gain access to a safe.

The four suspects have operated in a wide geographic area, with thefts reported in California, Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, Tenessee, North Carolina and South Carolina. The four suspects are described as:
• Asian male, mid-30s, 5'6"-5'8" tall, who sometimes wears his hair spiked. He is of a medium athletic build and is nicely dressed. This suspect usually does the distracting at the front of a store.
• Black male, 40-45 years old, 6'-6'2" tall, nicely dressed and usually wearing a necktie. This suspect takes the merchandise from the cases or open safe.
• Black male, mid-30s, 5'11"-6'1" tall, very slender, usually wears a tie and is often talking on a cell phone. Sometimes wears his hair in braids and sometimes wears it full. This suspect is usually a second distracter.
• Light-skinned black female, 30-32 years old, 5'6" tall, about 120 lbs., with straight shoulder-length hair.

Anyone with any information on the gang should call JSA at (800) 537-0067.

by Liz Smutko

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