SAN FRANCISCO—The San Francisco Police Department sent out an alert on Monday, December 23, warning residents of a fake gold jewelry scam. 

According to SFPD, several men are approaching victims in public settings to sell fake jewelry. The scam has transpired in the Taraval and Richmond Districts. As the scammers place their fake jewelry on victims, they remove their jewelry and steal it. The suspects have been seen fleeing in a getaway car once the victims realize their personal jewelry has been stolen. 

Approximately 20 incidents have transpired in 2019 with a total of $55,000 in lost currency and jewelry. The SFPD has identified Mamfred Oinescu, 44, as one of the suspects in the crimes. He currently has an arrest warrant in connection to the thefts.

Authorities are working with outside agencies to identify the remaining suspects. Officials are recommending people who have purchased jewelry off the street to get it tested. They are also asking victims to file a report to their local police station if they have been victimized by the suspects.