POLICE is warning shoppers of two thieves who claim to be deaf to distract charity patrons while they steal watches from their wrists.
Five incidents were reported in May and early June, in which two women approached shoppers and stole valuable watches, including Rolex watches, from supermarket parking lots.
In some cases, they have approached victims claiming to be deaf, asking for charitable signatures or conducting investigations.
It was during this distraction that they managed to unclip the watches of innocent customers.
The two are said to be in their twenties, one of them 5ft 8in tall, with dark brown hair and wearing glasses.
The other is blonde and is around 5 feet 4 inches tall.
In an incident in North Street, Midhurst on May 8, an elderly couple were approached by the two women with a notepad asking them to sign a document.
One asked to see the woman’s handbag and the other then grabbed the man by the wrist trying to steal his watch.
In another incident on May 29, a man reported that he was followed to his home in Clapham, near Angmering, by a blue Volkswagen vehicle late on Saturday afternoon.
A woman got out, followed him into his own garage and tried to unclip his Rolex watch.
She spoke with what has been described as a foreign accent and also asked him to spell the street name for her.
He challenged her and she got back to the car and left.
On the afternoon of May 31, outside John Lewis in Chichester, a woman was approached by two women pretending to ask for signatures for a petition, and once they left she realized that his watch was missing.
A man was in Asda in Selsey when he was approached by two women, one of whom was allegedly deaf, on May 29.
They claimed to be asking for signatures for the construction of a center for people with disabilities in the area, but after they left he realized that his Rolex watch had been stolen.
Most recently, in the parking lot behind Waitrose in East Grinstead on Friday, an elderly woman had her Rolex watch stolen between around 11 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
She was putting groceries in her car when she was approached by a woman claiming to be a charity worker.
The victim agreed to make a small donation to the charity, after which the suspect tried to give her a hug. During this time, the suspect took the watch from the victim’s wrist.
A Sussex Police spokesperson said: ‘Please be alert to such approaches and if you see anyone behaving suspiciously in this manner, dial 999 immediately.
“If you have any other information that could help locate this pair, contact Sussex Police online or by calling 101 citing Operation Overdrive.
“You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
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This notice was published: 2021-06-07 16:23:50