Police are urging people to be vigilant following a number of distraction thefts in Sussex.
Reports have been received from Crowborough, Uckfield, Crawley, and Haywards Heath of elderly and vulnerable victims having money taken from them by unknown suspects.
The victims are approached by someone carrying a clipboard with a sign saying they are deaf and asking for donations.
The suspects wait until the victim opens their purse or wallet to make a donation before distracting them and taking larger sums of money.
One victim had £300 taken from inside their car while parked in the Sainsbury’s car park in Crawley, while another had £100 stolen while in Crowborough Waitrose car park.
The suspects are described as women in their 20s. Officers investigating the thefts are urging people to be aware of strangers approaching them in these circumstances, and to keep a close eye on any handbags or valuables while in public places.
If you have any information relating to the offences please call 101 or report to Sussex Police online.
If you want further advice on how to keep yourself safe from distraction thefts, you can visit your local police station or visit the Crime Prevention pages on the Sussex Police website.