Distraction thefts in Walsall Wood – be careful, folks.

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Police are concerned about distraction thefts in Walsall Wood. Imagery from Apple Maps.

People are being warned to be on their guard after a couple of distraction theft incidents in the Walsall Wood area over the last few days – the first in Walsall Wood High Street on Saturday 16th July 2016 and the second in Vigo Road yesterday, Monday 18th July 2016.

It would be a very good idea if you have elderly or vulnerable family or friends to warn them about this.

West Midlands Police issued the following statement this morning:

Police continue to appeal for information following a roadside distraction theft in Vigo Road, Walsall Wood on Monday 18 July.

A 75-year-old man was walking his dog at around 2pm when a car, described as an old C Class Mercedes with foreign plates, pulled up beside him and a woman passenger asked him for directions.

The woman described as white of a large build and in her late 30s early 40s distracted the dog walker and replaced the gold jewellery he was wearing with cheap costume jewellery.

The man who was driving the car is described as Eastern European in appearance.

Officers have been trawling CCTV for any clues and are appealing to anyone that could help them with their investigations to call on 101.

Police are urging people to be wary of anyone who is overfriendly in these types of circumstances.

Kind regards,

Gina Lycett
Corporate Communications Department
Communications Officer

Kevin Pitt, Partnerships Officer at Walsall Police, also posted the following on Facebook:

The incident described occurred in Vigo Road at about 2pm yesterday, what is described as a left-hand drive Mercedes has pulled up alongside the gentleman, the occupants (described as Eastern European) have asked for directions and when the gent has leaned into the vehicle have stolen his jewellery as described.

A similar incident occurred on Saturday morning in Walsall Wood High Street, in this case the victim had just returned to his car when he was approached by an unknown female who asked for directions, after he’d complied she lent into the car putting her arms around his neck in thanks, stealing a necklace and watch. She got into a waiting car and made off.

This type of crime is not unknown but at the same time isn’t that common so whilst I wouldn’t want people to worry I’d also advise people to be cautious if approached by strangers asking for directions, especially if you’re visibly wearing jewellery (watches/necklaces/rings), and try to remember as much about the persons and vehicles involved as you can.

Unfortunately the two victims mentioned above were unable to give more than brief descriptions of the thieves and vehicles involved, leaving the police with no real lines of enquiry.

I’d like to thank the West Midlands Police Press Office and Kevin Pitt for their very rapid response to my enquiry about this today.

Please, if you have any information, do speak to the cops. These people need to be caught before they do it again. If you know who they might be, or if you saw anything at all, please do contact West Midlands Police by dialling 101 or speak to Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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