Police release CCTV footage after mobile phone distraction theft
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Police investigating the theft of a mobile phone have released CCTV footage of the incident, in a bid to raise awareness of tactics being used.
A mobile phone was removed from a table in the McDonalds in Milton Street, Nottingham city centre, after the victim was distracted by a man holding a piece of paper.
The suspect asked her to look at and sign the piece of paper while she was sat at a table. As she looked at the paper, the suspect covered her phone with it and stole her device which was underneath.
After stealing her phone, he left the restaurant and headed towards the Victoria Centre.
Inquiries are ongoing into the incident which happened at 12.15pm on 20 October 2023.
PC John Searston, of Nottinghamshire Police, said:
“We’d like to identify the man featured in the footage and would ask anyone who recognises him to please get in touch. We would also like to hear from anyone who may have been approached in similar circumstances.
“Having your phone stolen is an immensely upsetting experience and we are doing everything we can to bring offenders to justice.
“We don’t want this to happen to anyone else and so are encouraging people to remain vigilant while they’re out and about and to follow some simple but effective tips to mitigate the risks of their phone being stolen.
“We’d urge people to report any suspicious behaviour to us directly, or venue staff, to ensure we can act upon it.”
People are encouraged to adhere to the following crime prevention tips:
When possible, keep your phone out of sight in public areas.
Try to ensure a password or pin code lock is enabled on your phone.
When you leave a table/area, even for a short time, always take your phone with you. Never leave it unattended.
If a stranger asks to use your phone, don't hand your device over to them. Instead, action any request you’re happy to facilitate yourself (for example, entering a number into your phone or making a phone call on the person’s behalf).
Always stay alert when using your mobile phone and be aware of your surroundings.
If you lose or have your phone stolen, call your network provider and get the phone blocked as soon as possible.
Set up a tracking app on your phone so you can see where it is from another device in the event of it being lost or stolen. The iPhone has find my phone, and for android phones there is android device manager.
You can report a stolen phone by calling 101 or in an emergency call 999. Others ways to contact Nottinghamshire Police can be found on the force website.
Anyone with information about this incident should call Nottinghamshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 300 of 20 October 2023, or alternatively they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.