NEW YORK -- NYPD officers are looking for five women accused of approaching unsuspecting victims, claiming to cure a curse on their families -- but then scamming them out of thousands of dollars.
The robberies, which are happening across Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens started back in April, police say.
Police say the victims are approached by three of the five women who state that the victim's families have been cursed.
The victims are then instructed to bring all of their jewelry and money in a bag to the women who will perform a blessing ritual to reverse the curse.
Only once the bag is returned to the victims do they discover that their money and valuables have been replaced by bottles of water.
The first incident happened around 11:15 a.m. Monday, April 18, in front of 191 Grand St., Manhattan, where the suspects approached a 55-year-old woman and made off with her jewelry and $280,000.
The second incident happened around 3 p.m. Wednesday, April 27, in front of 73 Bay 22 St., Brooklyn, where a 61-year-old woman was robbed of $130,000.
On Tuesday, May 10, around 11 a.m., a 53-year-old woman was robbed of $20,000 at Bowne Street and Franklin Avenue in Queens.
The robbery pattern continued into June when a 69-year-old woman was robbed on June 4 of $10,000 worth of jewelry and $10,000 while at 122 Delancey St., in Manhattan.
The most recent incident happened around 3 p.m. Wednesday, June 22, in front of 955 48 St. where a 54-year-old woman was robbed of $3,000 worth of jewelry and $19,000, while in front of 955 48 St., Brooklyn.
Anyone with information in regards to these incidents is asked to call the NYPD's Crime Stoppers Hotline at 1-800-577-TIPS (8477) or for Spanish, 1-888-57-PISTA (74782).
The public can also submit their tips by logging onto the Crime stoppers website at WWW.NYPDCRIMESTOPPERS.COM or by texting their tips to 274637 (CRIMES) then enter TIP577.