Beware of Distraction Thefts Across the County

Detectives are urging members of the public to be vigilant following a series of distraction thefts across the county.

The offences have involved one or two women approaching men, generally aged in their 50s or older, in the street or outside their homes and distracting them by either asking for directions or making sexual advances and then stealing their watches or jewellery.

There have been at least six similar incidents reported since Tuesday 8 May 2018, taking place in Weymouth, Christchurch, Bournemouth and Poole.

The women involved have been described as white, of Mediterranean or Eastern European appearance, aged in their 20s or 30s and with dark hair.

There have also been similar incidents reported recently elsewhere in the country, including Manchester and Cheshire.

Detective Sergeant Adam Woolman, of Dorset Police’s Priority Crime Team, said: “While these incidents have taken place at various locations across Dorset, the similar nature of the offences reported and the descriptions of the women involved mean we are treating them as linked.

“We are making extensive enquiries into each of the incidents and I would urge anyone with information to contact police.

“I would also urge members of the public to be vigilant and wary of anyone trying to distract them using the techniques described.

“Finally, I would encourage anyone who has been a victim of a similar theft or attempted theft to report it to police.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police at www.dorset.police.uk, via email 101@dorset.pnn.police.uk, or by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55180069173. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or via www.crimestoppers-uk.org.