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Warning as CCTV shows how mobile phone distraction thefts work

Police investigating the theft of a mobile phone have released CCTV footage of the incident, in a bid to raise awareness of tactics being used.

A mobile phone was removed from a table in the Mcdonald’s in Milton Street, Nottingham city centre, after the victim was distracted by a man holding a piece of paper.

The suspect asked her to look at and sign the piece of paper while she was sitting at a table. As she looked at the paper, the suspect covered her phone with it and stole her device which was underneath.

Screenshot 2023 11 02 at 08.46.47
A question is asked and the paper laid on top of the phone

After stealing her phone, he left the restaurant and headed towards the Victoria Centre.

Inquiries are ongoing into the incident which happened at 12.15pm on 20 October 2023.

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Screenshot 2023 11 02 at 08.46.55
The paper is placed over the phone

PC John Searston, of Nottinghamshire Police, said:

“We’d like to identify the man featured in the footage and would ask anyone who recognises him to please get in touch. We would also like to hear from anyone who may have been approached in similar circumstances.

Screenshot 2023 11 02 at 08.47.05
The phone is picked up with the paper and the thief escapes

“Having your phone stolen is an immensely upsetting experience and we are doing everything we can to bring offenders to justice.

“We don’t want this to happen to anyone else and so are encouraging people to remain vigilant while they’re out and about and to follow some simple but effective tips to mitigate the risks of their phone being stolen.

“We’d urge people to report any suspicious behaviour to us directly, or venue staff, to ensure we can act upon it.”

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