When the 87-year-old saw a woman in the yard of her Tamarac home, she went outside to see who it was.
The innocent inquiry ended with the unknown woman and her partner stealing the elderly woman’s wedding ring, another ring, a pair of gold earrings and a pair of diamond earrings, the Broward Sheriff’s Office said.
On Tuesday, the department released a sketch of the man, who detectives say was part of “the elaborate con to get their hands on her jewelry.”
The incident happened at about 11:30 a.m. April 30 near the 7100 block of Canella Court.
According to BSO, when the elderly woman asked the stranger why she was there, the woman told her “she worked for the city of Tamarac and was measuring the embankment by the lake so the city could install a wall.”
That’s when a man walked up to the woman’s home.
“The man said he was a city worker as well and was spraying trees in the victim’s yard,” BSO said in a news release. “When the victim reached down toward a tree, the man sprayed her hand with what he said was a poisonous chemical.”
The man and woman told the 87-year-old she had to wash her hands, BSO said. The man went with her.
“The man followed her into her kitchen to ‘help,’” BSO said. “He told her to remove both her rings. The victim was hesitant to comply and worried about removing her wedding ring.“
BSO said the man then “forced the rings from her fingers.”
“The victim yelled out in pain, but the thief would not stop,” BSO said.
Meanwhile, the woman “rummaged through the rest of the house” and then the pair left, BSO said.
The man is described as being about 50 years old, about 5 feet, 9 inches tall and about 180 pounds. He has gray hair and a scruffy gray beard, BSO said. The woman, who is also about 50 years old, is about 5 feet, 6 inches tall and weighs about 140 pounds. She has brown curly hair.
Anyone with information is asked to call BSO Robbery Detective Mark Copley at 954-321-4238 or Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS (8477).