On Wednesday, May 31, 2023, the Barrie Police Service was made aware of a bizarre theft that had taken place in in northeast Barrie shortly after 2:30 p.m.

Upon arrival at the victim’s home, responding officers were advised that an elderly female was approached while outside on her property by an unknown female who was seeking directions to a big box type drug store.

After providing directions, the victim reports the female gave her a gold-coloured ring as a token of appreciation for the directions that were provided. The female then asked the victim for a hug and when the victim complied, the female quickly removed a gold necklace from around her neck and replaced it with one that was a fake.

This type of theft is known as a distraction theft and has been common in jurisdictions south of Barrie. In this case, the victim was relieved of a gold chain that had both monetary and sentimental value.

The female suspect is described as Middle Eastern, 40’s, heavy build, dark medium length hair, wearing a beige and white shirt. She was accompanied by a male who was also of a Middle Eastern background, 40’s, thin, dark hair with a full beard and moustache. From seized video surveillance, the male driver is known to have never exited what has been described as black mid sized sport utility vehicle.

The Barrie Police Service is warning the public of this incident so that no one else becomes a victim and that seniors in particular, are aware of this scheme and the components that go into it.

Police are reminding the public that a stranger is a stranger, no matter how old you are and if a stranger offers you a hug, simply turn down the request, turn and walk away.

Occurrence #: BA23034420
Prepared by: Corporate Communications Coordinator Peter Leon


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