Tuesday 23 April 2024
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Warning after phones stolen in Nottingham city distraction thefts

Police are calling for members of the public and businesses to be vigilant against distraction theft as people return to the city centre to work and socialise.

It comes after two incidents in Nottingham on Thursday 20 May where members of the public had their phones stolen by people who used distraction techniques.

One incident at a coffee shop in Friar Lane saw a man approach two women and ask for money. The man was told to leave the area but had stolen a phone from a table during the incident.

In a separate matter, a man approached a woman at a nail bar in Lincoln Street waving a piece of paper at her. Her phone was stolen during the conversation and an investigation has been launched to locate the man.

Since then there have been a number of further incidents. Chief Inspector Kathryn Craner has reminded the public to remain vigilant against distraction theft and called encouraged anyone who sees something suspicious or someone acting suspiciously to report it to police.

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Ch Insp Craner said: “Mobile phones are not only valuable but they often contain personal information such as card details, logins to online stores and passwords to social media accounts.

“While it is totally unacceptable that people would steal them, there are steps people can take to help prevent these incidents from happening.

“It is totally understandable that people have their phones on tables while out with friends but this leaves it in a vulnerable position that can easily be targeted for distraction thieves.

“If you think of how much your phone is worth, you wouldn’t leave that much cash lying on a table, so please be cautious and consider the potential vulnerability of your devices while out.

“Be wary of people who approach you while holding a large map or piece of paper as this can be used to place over the top of your device while a suspect speaks to you.

“The most important ask from the police is that if you see someone acting suspiciously report it to us as soon as you can on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”

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