[P]olice are warning shop workers to be vigilant after thieves target tills across Cumbria.
Cumbria Police had three crimes of a similar nature reported over two days:
On October 13th a male has entered a shop on Little Dockray, Penrith, and asked if his mother had left her walking stick in the shop on the previous day.
The shop assistant has gone to check upstairs and on her return the male stated that his mother had picked up the stick already and thanked her for her time. It was noticed that the till was down by £40.
The offender is described as a white male, of medium build, with short dark hair, well groomed, wearing a salmon pink jumper, dark trousers and dark rimmed glasses;
On October 14th an offender entered a shop on Stricklandgate, Kendal, and distracted the lone cashier by asking her to look for items left by their elderly mother the previous day. Once the cashier had gone the offender went behind the till, used the key underneath it to open it and removed £20 in cash. The offender then re-locked the till and put the key back;
On October 14th a male has entered a store in the Lanes Shopping Centre in Carlisle and told the shop assistant that his mother had left her walking stick, that he had spoken to the manager and it was in the back of the shop.
When the assistant returned from looking for it he was gone and she realised that all the notes (total of £105) had been taken.
The male was described as a white male, tall, of slim build, between 30 and 40 years old, wearing a dark cap, blue jeans and an overcoat to the knees. He did not have a local accent.
Detective Inspector Craig Smith said: “These are all distraction burglaries where the offender has used deception to distract the shop assistants, giving him the time to take money from the tills.
“I would urge shop owners and staff to be vigilant about their security, specifically the tills, and in particular when there is someone working alone. If you have to leave the area of the till please ensure that it locked so not to give these type of thieves an easy opportunity to steal your takings.”
Anyone with information that could assist police in their investigations should call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.