Be Alert Over Jewellery Distraction Thefts In Shropshire
Pedestrians and drivers across Shropshire are urged to be alert to thieves trying to steal their jewellery and other valuables by distracting them, following two incidents in Shrewsbury.
Offenders will place chains around victims necks or push jewellery into their hands, before taking the items back - and the victims' along with them.
Although uncommon, like other distraction offences, when they happen there tends to be a ‘spate' before the offenders move on.
Both incidents happened in the Sundorne area, with one in Claverley Road at about 12.15pm on Thursday 4th October 2012, when the driver of a car was flagged down by two women.
They asked her where the hospital was and one of them tried to fasten a gold-coloured chain around her neck and push other jewellery into her hand.
Police Constable Ben Oakley, who is investigating the incidents, said when the victim said she didn't want any of them, the offender took them back but also unfastened the victim's necklace.
"Fortunately, she realised what had happened and snatched her necklace back before the two woman walked off towards Meadow Farm Drive," he said.
"In the other incident around the same time, a woman walking with her baby in a pushchair in East Crescent was approached and also asked for information about the local hospital. However, there were other people around and the suspect walked away without trying to steal anything."
He said in the East Crescent incident, the offender got out of a purple or blue car, possible a Hyundai or similar, that had then driven further down the street to park up on the other side of the roundabout.
Following the incident, the suspect got back into the car and it drove off towards Allerton Road, passing her as it did so. Inside there were two men and two women.
Both women are described as having dark or olive complexions and were wearing ‘gypsey-style' clothing.
"One was in her late teens or 20s and the other much older, in her 60s or 70s. Both of them had dark hair and the older one had ‘very bad' teeth. If anybody saw them or the vehicle they were travelling in, please contact police on 101," added PC Oakley.
"I also urge the public to be alert should they be approached by anyone who tries to distract them or sell them jewellery on the street."