Con-artist targets seniors in San Ramon, steals jewelry worth thousands

Police in San Ramon are looking for an alleged con-woman who made off with thousands of dollars worth of jewelry, which she took right off her victims' necks. All the victims are between 60 and 70 years old.

Police say they’re also looking into whether the same suspect robbed a 95-year-old woman in Berkeley.

"I am definitely shocked. I am definitely shocked," said Sonil Heda, who lives in the Windemere section of San Ramon, where the crimes took place on Tuesday.

"The descriptions are almost exactly the same," said Sgt. Rob Ransom of the San Ramon Police.

Each time, police say a man and a woman, both of South Asian descent pulled up in a dark SUV with a child in the back. Police say the woman, who is believed to be in her thirties got out of the passenger side of the car and approached her victims, who were on walks. The suspect then asked for directions, before attempting to place a piece of costume jewelry on them.

"Then when they take this costume jewelry off, they take the valuable piece of jewelry," said Ransom.

Police say the criminals likely keep a range of cosmetic jewelry on them, decoys similar to the ones they are targeting. They have made off with rings and necklaces that police say are worth anywhere from $800 to $80,000.

"I’m not shocked that it is worth $80,000," said Devu Heda, who lives in the neighborhood.

Heda says most of the seniors who live in the area are immigrants from India, who wear valuable and sentimental jewelry.

"They wear lot of jewelry that has been theirs since their marriage," said Heda. "I would assume that there is no linguistic barrier, so if someone is approaching you and talking in their language, it’s natural to say hi hello."

The first robbery took place on Tuesday at around 10 a.m., involving an 86-year-old woman. Then in the afternoon a 77-year-old woman and a 60-year-old man also had their jewelry taken.

"Right after Thanksgiving, Berkeley had some of these and then we had some of these, in the same area, same method of operation," said Ransom.

One of those cases involved a 95-year-old woman who was robbed while walking on a trail in Berkeley. The suspects, fit a similar description and also had children in the car. The woman's diamond ring and a gold necklace worn by her mother, were taken. San Ramon police say they are working with other area agencies to catch the suspects.

In the meantime, police are urging people in San Ramon, to not walk alone. Anyone with information on the crimes should call San Ramon police.