Two women entered the building asking if one could use the WC urgently (feigning distress and pain to heighten the urgency). Whilst they were in the back office and staff at the front were distracted, items were stolen.
As with shoplifting and associated crime, business owners are being asked to keep an eye our for similar circumstances occuring. If any suspicious activity is seen then contact the police as soon as possible. Shop owners do have the right to refuse admission to their premises if they are suspicious of intentions.
Ironically at Wednesday’s business community meeting, the first concern raised by shop owners was that this type of crime happens in the area and how perhaps Teddington suffers because it is an affluent area and also considered a ‘soft target’. Police attending the meeting answered that this type of crime is no stranger to all towns and generally will be on the increase due to the current economic climate.
Constant contact between businesses and local police is key to help prevent or report crimes such as these and help warn others in the area about any patterns occuring.
Photo: Peter Denton
In a crime assessment document released today there is currently a spate of cash-point thefts across Richmond Borough using ‘Lebanese loop‘ devices that retain ATM users cards combined with seemingly helpful onlookers. In another ‘distraction’ type crime, they offer to help with their problem but are actually just looking to watch their PIN being entered by asking them to try it again.