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CCTV appeal following mobile phone distraction theft

News   •   Feb 01, 2017 06:05 GMT

Image: Man wanted for questioning

Officers from Westminster are renewing appeals to trace a man captured on CCTV stealing a mobile phone.

CCTV showed the moment the suspect approached the victim who was sitting in a coffee shop in Wilton Road, Westminster using her laptop, with her mobile phone on the table next to it.

The suspect approached the victim whilst placing a piece of paper in front of her, concealing the mobile underneath.

The victim told the suspect no thank you and the suspect walked off, stealing the mobile phone.

The incident occurred on 1 April 2015 at about 16:35hrs and the suspect is described as being a man of Mediterranean appearance, with short dark hair, wearing a dark coloured jacket and trousers.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police by calling 101 or via Twitter @MetCC. Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 quoting ref 176849.

As many as 10,000 mobile phones are stolen every month, often by opportunistic thieves who will take any chance to steal a phone, which can be distressing, costly and a huge inconvenience to the victim.

To address this, the Met have introduced a crime prevention campaign named 'Be Safe', which aims to motivate, empower and mobilise Londoners to take small crime prevention steps to protect themselves and their property, while officers continue to work hard to disrupt and arrest the criminals.

The Met is urging the public to take a few simple measures to prevent crime from occurring:

- Don't leave your phone unattended on a table or forgotten in a bag.

- On a night out, look out for each other's phones.

- If you need to use your phone, be aware of your surroundings. Try going hands free or stand away from the roadside close to a wall so no one can come up behind you.

- Don't text while you're walking, you won't notice potential thieves approaching.

- Your phone comes with a range of security features, such as keypad locks and remote data wiping. Make sure they are all activated to stop thieves from accessing your phone and personal data.

- Know how to identify your phone if it's stolen

- Find your IMEI number by dialling *#06# from your phone and keep a written note of it. If the phone is stolen, report it to the police and your mobile provider to stop it being used.

- Register your phone on to help police return recovered stolen property and combat the sale of stolen goods. Police recover more than 2500 items registered to the website on average every month. Never confront a thief or risk your own safety for the sake of your mobile device.