‘It’s not my necklace - it’s my mom I lost’: Aloha man hit by jewelry theft scam

Published: Sep. 11, 2022 at 1:09 PM PDT
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WASHINGTON COUNTY, Ore. (KPTV) - Police say a pair of scammers have stolen about $10,000 of jewelry over the last few months in Washington County.

One victim, Thomas Xavier of Aloha, said his greatest loss was the emotional value of the family heirloom they took.

I’m so ashamed, I shouldn’t have fallen for this trap,” Xavier said.

The suspects, a man and a woman, pulled up outside Xavier’s house, in what he remembers as a white Jeep Grand Cherokee.

They were professionals, he said. They engaged him with pleasant conversation, greeting him with “Namaste.”

“And I’m like, when someone says Namaste we say Namaste,” Xavier said. “I just went near to the car, so near to the car.”

The woman told him that it was her birthday and that they wanted to give him a necklace and a few dollars.

“And I was like I don’t need all of this. ‘No, no, no. It’s a cultural thing,’” Xavier said. “I mean, she just put that on my neck.”

Only after they left, did he notice what was missing.

“That’s when I realized my real necklace is gone,” Xavier said.

The sheriff’s office said three other people have also reported similar interactions, and two were also victims of theft.

The suspects came up to an elderly woman outside her Cedar Mill house and told her they wanted to give her a ring as a gift. They took the engagement ring off her finger and promised to put the “gift” ring on her finger and return her own ring. Instead, they gave the woman a bag with a sock and costume jewelry. They left and the woman realized the ring was not in the sock.

In the third case, the suspects walked up to a man outside of a store at Cedar Mill and took money out of a wallet he was wearing around his neck. When he demanded the money back, they gave him a sock with paper inside and left.

The fourth attempted victim contacted police on Sunday afternoon after they had heard about the other three incidents, police said.

On July 27 in the Hillsboro WinCo parking lot at 1500 Southwest Oak Street, an older man called the intended victim to come over to a car window to give them a ring. The person did not take the offer and stayed back.

For Xavier, revenge for the loss of his necklace is in God’s hands, he said. He’s not expecting the police will be able to find the thieves before the necklace from his mother is sold or destroyed, but he said he hopes that sharing his story will protect other people from being scammed in the same way that he lost the .

“When she died, I inherited that,” Xavier said. “Just because of my stupidity, I lost her. It’s not my necklace - it’s my mom I lost. On my heart. I never took it off. You know, it’s gone.”


An image captured of the car shows a newer black Mercedes 4-matic SUV with Virginia plates:

Vehicle used by jewelry thieves: Black Mercedes 4-matic SUV with Virginia plates.
Vehicle used by jewelry thieves: Black Mercedes 4-matic SUV with Virginia plates.(Washington County Sheriff’s Office)

Detectives are asking for help identifying the suspects:

  • The woman is described as having a strong, possibly Middle Eastern accent, about 5-feet, 4-inches tall with dark hair past her shoulders.
  • The man is described as having a strong, possibly Middle Eastern accent, about 5-feet, 10-inches tall with short dark hair and a short beard.

The suspects are believed to be using multiple vehicles, one of the vehicles was captured on a doorbell camera in one of the cases.

  • A newer white Jeep Cherokee with California plates.
  • A blue or gray cargo van with no back windows.
  • A newer black Mercedes 4-matic SUV with Virginia plates.

Anyone with any information is asked to contact WCSO at (503) 846-2700.