Distraction thieves have been targeting people using cash machines in Crawley, according to Sussex Police.
The force said today (Tuesday 5 December): “Officers have issued a warning following multiple distraction thefts in Crawley.
“This comes as two separate incidents were reported to Sussex Police in November.
“On Monday 27 November, a man who withdrew money from a cashpoint at The Martletts walked back to his car.
“When he got to his car, he was approached by a man who had followed him.
“The man told the victim he had dropped money and, when the victim bent down to retrieve it, he stole the jacket which had the withdrawn cash inside.
“Another incident took place on Tuesday 7 November when a woman noticed another woman watching her as she withdrew cash.
“The woman dropped coins on the ground to distract the victim while another man approached her and took the money she had just withdrawn from her pocket.
“Both incidents involved the suspects spraying the victims’ jackets with paint as a further distraction.
“Officers are urging the public to stay alert, particularly as Christmas nears and high streets are busier.
“If you have any information relating to the offences or if you want further advice on how to keep yourself safe from distraction thefts, you can visit your local police station, visit the Crawley Engagement Pod, in High Street, call 101 or visit the Sussex Police website.”