Distraction Thieves Caught Thanks to Quick-Thinking Shop Assistant

Update 5 July

The puppies have now been found and returned to their owners.


Two shoppers were targeted by opportunist and distraction thieves in Waitrose on Friday 17 June, one losing £400 cash and the other their front door key, debit card, other cards plus £100 cash.

One of the shoppers, an 84-year old Henley lady told the Herald, “I was near the coffee machine and the lady held me in a pointless conversation about milk whilst a man who I didn’t originally see took my purse and key from my shopping bag which was resting in the trolley.  Waitrose did not seem overly concerned and only have two cameras in the shop.  I reported the crime to the police.”

The distraction thieves used the lady’s cards in Moda in Pelle and Mint Velvet in Market Place and she went to tell them about the theft.  Luckily the next day the couple went back into Moda in Pelle on Market Place trying to pay for goods with a counterfeit £50 note.  The Moda in Pelle shop assistant managed to take images of the couple on her phone and forwarded them to the police.

This Saturday the lady popped into Mode in Pelle again, she said, “I was delighted when the assistant told me the good news that the thieves have been arrested.  She said that the couple were wanted by Surrey Police for stealing puppies and dogs, but sadly the 2 puppies have not been found.”