Shoppers and store owners are being urged to be on their guard against a gang of distraction thieves thought to be targeting Royston.

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The gang struck at Saks hairdressers in the High Street on Saturday, stealing a mobile phone while the owner was distracted.

Bassingbourn resident Vicki Seddon was in the hairdressers at the time.

She said: “It was about 2.30pm on Saturday. Two men came in, they obviously didn’t speak a lot of English, but they were waving these fliers around in people’s faces, going from customer to customer. The staff look bewildered, and they went round three or four ladies until someone said enough was enough. Ten or 15 minutes later one of the ladies checked her bag and realised her phone had been taken.

“I went into Wonderful Things later and they had heard about it too, and I think the Butcher’s have also been targeted.”

Hertfordshire Police confirmed they are investigating, and urged the public to keep their mobile devices safe.

A spokesman for Hertfordshire Police said: “The offenders are both described as Eastern European men, aged in their 30s and are between 5ft 8ins and 5ft 9ins tall. One of the men had dark brown hair and he was wearing a red and grey chequered lumberjack-style jacket.

“Enquiries are on-going and anyone with information is asked to contact PC Michelle Lowe, who is investigating the theft, via Hertfordshire Constabulary’s non-emergency number 101, citing crime reference G4/14/59.

“Alternatively, call Crimestoppers, the independent charity, anonymously on 0800 555 111.”

Advice on keeping your phone safe, including information on how to register your phone with the free online database Immobilise, can be found on the force website, www.herts.police.uk

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