A warning has been issued to customers visiting coffee shops, bars and restaurants in the city to be aware of thieves targeting phones and valuables that are on view on the table. Leading providers of CCTV security, AlertSystems, has commented on the news.
The police have recently released CCTV footage of a thief stealing a mobile phone in McDonald’s, whilst seemingly begging for money. The release of the footage is part of a public appeal, as well as to raise awareness of the issue of distraction thefts. Since January, the City of London police have stated that 32 distraction thefts have been reported in the Square Mile. Eight of these thefts were in bars and another eight were in restaurants.
The released footage from the McDonald’s branch in Cannon Street shows a man approaching a table of two diners with a sheet of card. The individual places the card on top of the mobile on the table and engages the victim in conversation. He distracts the victim by making a number of hand gestures towards his mouth. As he goes to walk away the thief picks up the card with the phone hidden beneath and walks away.
This type of distraction theft is said to be similar to the other 32 thefts that have recently been reported in the area. Detective Inspector Dough Blackwood stated: “Thieves will use all the tricks in the book to get their hands on people’s valuable items. They will visit several coffee shops, bars and restaurants and target people who leave their items, such as mobile phone on tables. Please be vigilant and keep belongings out of sight as much as possible.”
As experts in commercial security, AlertSystems takes a keen interest in relevant news stories. A spokesperson from the company made the following statement. “The recent spate of thefts in the Square Mile area has emphasised the importance for businesses to install high quality CCTV technology. Thieves will continue to use different distraction techniques in order to steal the personal belongings of customers and clients. It’s important that businesses use their CCTV technology in order to help customers, staff members and the police recognise the latest methods that are being used.”
AlertSystems manage and maintain thousands of commercial security installations throughout the UK and are specialists in providing business security solutions. Offering professional service and a complete range of security services such as monitored alarm systems, Automatic Number Plate Recognition and Avigilon CCTV security systems, AlertSystems provides effective and reliable solutions to security problems.
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