Police warning after spike in Hitchin and Royston distraction thefts

PUBLISHED: 09:57 21 May 2020 | UPDATED: 09:57 21 May 2020

Police are warning the public after seeing a spike in distraction thefts in North Hertfordshire. Picture: Archant

Police are warning the public after seeing a spike in distraction thefts in North Hertfordshire. Picture: Archant

Archant

Police in North Herts are warning the public to be extra alert following a spate of distraction mobile phone thefts in Hitchin and Royston.

Offenders have used distraction theft techniques, including handing over pieces of paper for staff, in businesses that have reopened since lockdown began.

Once they have left the premises, staff realise their phones, which were on desks or counters, have also been taken.

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So far two estate agents, one in Royston and one in Hitchin, have been targeted in this way, but officers want everyone to be on their guard when they are out and about.

Safer Neighbourhood Team Inspector James Lant said: “Prior to lockdown, thieves were targeting cafes in a similar way.

“Offenders often used to put leaflets down on tables, and as most cafes are only open for takeaways, thieves are now focussing on other businesses in a similar way.”

“We have been liaising with local businesses that are now re-opening, but we want everyone to be on their guard.”


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