Christmas card fraudsters steal mobile phones in Hitchin

FRAUDSTERS claiming to be selling Christmas cards stole mobile phones and a purse in Hitchin last week.

The first incident occurred at 3.30pm on Thursday December 30, when two men approached the victim and a friend who were sat at Costa Coffee in Bancroft, Hitchin.

The men claimed to be selling Christmas cards and put them down on the table, covering one of the women’s iPhones. After the women refused to buy any the men walked off, taking the iPhone with them.

A second incident occurred at 5pm the same day at the Millstream Pub in Cambridge Road, Hitchin.

A 32-year-old female was eating dinner with her mum when she was approached by two men who persistently asked her to buy a card and then placed some on the table on top of her purse and iPhone.

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When she told them to go away, they picked up the cards along with the phone and purse and walked off with them towards the railway station.

“This type of offence is quite unusual and appears to be opportunistic,” said North Herts Safer Neighbourhoods Inspector Jason Thorne.

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“However, it is a warning to remain vigilant with personal possessions when in a public place.

“Keep phones and purses zipped up in bags out of the way so someone cannot reach them easily.”

The first offender is described as in his forties, with black receding hair and a beard or moustache, wearing a dark leather jacket and jeans. He is also described as having bad teeth and stubble.

The second man was in his twenties, also with black hair and wearing a dark leather jacket and dark jeans.

Anyone with information can ring the non-emergency number on 0845 33 00 222, quoting crime reference G1/10/3737, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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