(Excerpt from press release)
During the past several months, there have been a number of reported incidents in the Sunset District involving the theft and money obtained under false pretense from older Chinese females. The common denominators in these incidents seem to be that the suspects prey upon the superstitious beliefs of the victim. In each of these incidents, the three suspects involved were described as 40 to 46 years old Chinese women who speak Cantonese.
In the two most recent incidents, a Chinese woman was approached while walking alone by the first suspect who asked if the victim knew where there was an herbal doctor. The second suspect then approached them and advised that she knew of an herbal doctor and convinced the victim to come with them. The third suspect then approached and told them that she is the daughter or granddaughter of the herbal doctor. The third suspect advised the victim that she was cursed, had a ghost attached to her and needed to be “purified” along with her valuables. The victim went to her home and bank where she collected her money and jewelry and provided it to the third suspect who placed the valuables in a bag and performed a ritual over the bag. The suspects gave provided the bag back to the victim, but told her not to tall anyone about this otherwise the ghost would attach to the other person. When the victim later looked into the bag, the bag contained only newspapers with no valuables. Both victims in these cases were defrauded out of a large amount of cash and jewelry.
During two other cases, a Chinese woman was approached by the first suspect in possession of a jade bracelet. While the first suspect struck up a conversation with the victim, a second suspect approached and told the victim that the jade bracelet was a good luck bracelet and worth a lot of money. The second suspect continued to tell the victim how her family members would benefit with good jobs and get out of debt with the bracelet. The third suspect then approached and also raved about the bracelet offering to purchase it. The victim in turn then offered to buy the bracelet. During each of these incidents, the victim was tricked into purchasing the bracelet for a large amount of cash.
If approached by any of these suspects with similar inquiries, please call 911. Anyone with information on these cases is requested to contact the Financial Crimes Unit at 415-553-1521.