Public urged to be vigilant following spate of distraction thefts

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Police in Ayrshire are reminding local people to remain vigilant following recent distraction thefts reported in the area.

The recently reported thefts have taken place in public areas where those responsible will approach customers sitting within cafes and licensed premises who have their mobile phones or other items of value on the table in front of them.

The individual will attempt to engage the victim in conversation and distract them by placing an item like a newspaper or map on the table. Using this as a cover they will then take the victim’s belongings from the table before leaving. It is only afterwards that the victim realises their personal belongings are away.

A spokesperson for Ayrshire Police Division said “We are currently investigating a number of recently reported incidents which have taken place in North, South and East Ayrshire where a group of men appear to be working together to commit thefts in local business premises.

“We are speaking to staff encouraging them to remain vigilant and conducting an extensive review of CCTV to identify those responsible.”

“You should keep your valuables, including your mobile phone, safe at all times - don’t leave it on open display and be aware of those around you. If you see something suspicious - report it.”

Anyone with information on recent incidents or wishing to report suspicious activity should call Police Scotland by calling 101. In an emergency always dial 999.