Extra police patrols hit the streets of Royston after distraction thefts

Police

Police - Credit: Archant

EXTRA plain-clothes police patrols are hitting the streets of Royston to combat distraction thefts.

The patrols will be carried out after several thefts, as well as incidents where counterfeit money has been passed to shopkeepers.

Royston’s neighbourhood sergeant Jon Vine said: “We had an incident on Saturday at the Age Concern shop in Church Lane, where a handbag was stolen from a shopper. It was found in the town later on but the money was gone.”

Police have had reports of similar incidents where the victim is distracted by one person while another takes their purse or bag.

Sgt Vine said: “As a result we are putting on extra plain-clothes patrols to try and catch these people.

“These sort of crimes have a big impact on the victims, who are often elderly or vulnerable. We will not tolerate this in our town.”

Shopkeepers are also being warned to be aware of people who pay for small items using large value notes which could be counterfeit.

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The offenders are described as of Eastern European origin, and usually operate in gangs of two or more.

Anyone with information should contact police on 101.