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“Map” con leads to phone theft (Leicester)

Alert message sent 21/08/2011 07:33:00
Information sent on behalf of Leicestershire Neighbourhood Watch

Police in Leicester are urging members of the public to be wary about strangers asking for help with directions.

It comes after a theft was reported by a member of the public in Leicester in the past week.  In this case she had been enjoying a drink in a coffee shop when she was approached by strangers asking for help with directions.

The strangers appeared to have poor English, and laid out a large map on the table. Once they had gone, the coffee drinker noticed the mobile phone she had placed on the table earlier was missing.  There was a  spate of similar thefts last year in Leicester, which led to some offenders being arrested.

Sergeant Rob Randell, from Leicestershire Constabulary, said: “It is a natural reaction to try to help someone out who appears to be lost.  “However, offenders are taking advantage of this willingness to help. I would urge members of the public to make sure they can always see their valuables, especially where someone appears to be trying to cover them with a map. 

Issued by Leicestershire Constabulary on 19.08.11

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Marion Lewis (NHWN, Force Lead NHW Volunteer, Leicestershire)

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