Man loses gold necklace chain in bait-and-switch scheme

In a twist on the classic bait-and-switch scheme, a 72-year-old Lawrence Township man lost a 24-karat gold chain to a woman who had stopped to engage him in conversation as he was taking a walk Oct. 5, according to the Lawrence Township Police Department.

The man was walking in the Lawrence Square Village development when a silver SUV pulled up alongside of him, police said. A woman passenger in the SUV began a conversation with him, and offered to give him a necklace. He accepted the offer and bowed his head so she could put the necklace around his neck.

After additional conversation, the man and the woman in the SUV drove away, police said. The victim then realized that his 24-karat gold necklace, which had an estimated value of $1,500, had been removed from his neck.

In its place, the woman left a generic gold chain worth about $5, police said. She had also given him two gold-colored rings that were costume jewelry.

The driver was described as a heavyset man, about 50 years old who was wearing a white shirt. The woman was about 50 to 55 years old and was wearing a yellow dress.