POLICE ISSUE DESCRIPTIONS OF SNEAKY CHAIN THIEVES WHO ARE HITTING CITY
Police have urged people to keep jewellery out of view, if possible.
Police have published descriptions of thieves they believe are responsible for a series of "unusual" sneak jewellery thefts.
Officers have linked the pair to incidents in Belgrave and Scraptoft Lane areas of Leicester in the past few weeks. The man and woman tell their victims their mother or father is seriously ill or has recently died and then produce a gold-coloured chain which they tell the victim their parents wanted them to have. They try to place the chain around their targets' necks and sneakily unclasp the chain they are already wearing. Police said the technique appears to work because it temporarily confuses the victim. Officers in Belgrave, Leicester, believe the distinctive method has cropped up only recently in their area. They are aware of two incidents on their patch in recent weeks, in Harrison Road and Victoria Road North.
However, Leicestershire Police said yesterday that the thieves – who are thought to be eastern European – have also struck in the Scraptoft Lane area of the city. Yesterday, officers appealed for witnesses to the Scraptoft Lane theft, which happened near the junction with Stanley Drive at 1.15pm on Wednesday, April 29. Two people approached the 39-year-old victim and tried to sell him a mobile phone. When he told them he was not interested one of them produced a gold-coloured chain which they said had belonged to one of their relatives who had died. A short while later the victim realised his gold chain was missing.
Inspector Ben Gillard, commander of the Eater Leicester Neighbourhood Policing Area, which He said: "This is something we are keeping an eye on as it is an emerging modus operandi. It's an unusual method. Jewellery thefts have in the past tended to occur on the Belgrave side of the city, so it is a concern to have had a report from a different part of the city."
The man is approximately 5ft 7ins, stocky and 35 to 37. He has black, slightly curly, medium length hair and was clean shaven. The woman is 5ft 6ins, 47 to 53 and of large build. She has long straight black hair which came to just above her waist. Both suspects made off in a dark blue VW Passat. The Belgrave team is currently running a campaign to raise awareness among the community of chain snatches which have blighted the neighbourhood in the past few years. They say people wearing fewer layers of clothes in warmer weather could see a return of chain snatches, often carried out by thieves on bikes.
Where possible, police are urging people to not wear gold chains when they are out and about or to cover them up.
Details from Leicester Mercury