CCTV: GMP warn shopkeepers ‘be on your guard’ as Leigh computer store hit by wanted trio’s ‘distract and grab’ scam

Shopkeepers are urged to be on their guard against a distraction scam after a trio made a ‘brazen’ attempt to nick a tablet computer at a store in Leigh.

The trio – one man and two women – entered the Advanced UK store on Chapel Street and attempted to shoplift a tablet using the distraction scam at about 4:45pm on July 22.

The man distracted the shopkeeper by asking to have his mobile phone unlocked, while one woman stood between the man and the other woman to block the shopkeeper’s view.

CCTV captured the ‘hidden’ female taking a tablet from the counter and hiding it under her jacket but the shopkeeper also witnessed the attempted theft and told her to put it back – she did and the trio left.

PCSO Sean Hurst said: “This was a brazen attempt to distract the shopkeeper and steal a tablet computer.

“Viewing the CCTV, it looks very much like a well-rehearsed plan by this trio to distract the shopkeeper so they could steal the computer, so we cannot discount the possibility this has either happened before or they could try it again somewhere else.”

#Greater Manchester Police have released the CCTV footage of this incident to both warn shopkeepers of the scam and to identify those involved.

They are appealing to anyone with information about the trio to come forward and are warning shopkeepers to be vigilant.

PCSO Hurst said: “We’ve issued the CCTV footage so we can make shopkeepers and businesses aware of this distraction scam, and if these three people enter your store please be on your guard.

“If you think you know who these people are from the CCTV, then I would also urge you to get in touch with police.”

Anyone with information should call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.

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