Vernon RCMP are investigating a case of buyer beware and beware of sellers coming to your vehicle with a sob story.
A Vernon man phoned RCMP Tuesday after an Indo-Canadian couple – a man in his 30s driving a four-door brown 1998-2002-style Grand Prix GT, and a woman in her 60s or 70s in traditional dress with gold around her teeth and using broken English – approached him as he was backing out of Tim Hortons on 25th Avenue shortly after 9 a.m. Tuesday.
“The woman came up to my car, said she needed money and wanted to sell me a gold chain,” said the man, who did not want to be identified. “I had the chain in my hand, I looked at her and said, ‘I’m phoning the RCMP because this happened to me once before.’
“It was then the woman ran back to the car and jumped in. She didn’t take the chain. I followed them for awhile and phoned police. I gave them their licence plate number before they managed to give me the slip.”
The man confirmed he had been taken by such a scheme in Edmonton, listening to a tale of woe and buying a gold chain for $550 that turned out, as he described, “to be faker than fake.”
“It was almost exactly the same as today,” he said. “The story is ‘I need money for gas, I’m broke or we’re trying to get someplace and I’ll sell you my gold.’ In Edmonton, they had a kid in the car. They played it out really well. It was a good story.”
Vernon RCMP, as a result of receiving the licence plate number of the suspects’ vehicle, have been in touch with Vancouver City Police.
“It’s believed the couple may have links to the Lower Mainland for similar activity,” said Vernon RCMP spokesperson Gord Molendyk.
The vehicle was not spotted in the local area by police as of Wednesday.
Molendyk said residents’ antennae should be raised immediately if somebody tries to sell them a product like jewelry or electronics from their vehicle.
“Reputable outfits don’t operate that way,” he said, adding the con artists will also try to play on the sympathy of strangers.