CUSTOMERS at KFC and Starbucks in Poole were targeted by thieves with a scam that saw their mobile phones stolen.
Police in the town have warned people to be on their guard after two distraction thefts last month (May).
The first incident occurred at around 4.55pm on Wednesday, May 24 at KFC in the Dolphin Shopping Centre.
A Dorset Police spokesperson said it was reported the victim was eating at a table with a group of friends when a woman approached, who could not speak English.
“She handed the victim a piece of paper asking for assistance and when the paper was handed back, the woman left the restaurant,” they said.
“It was subsequently found that an iPhone, which was on the table, had been stolen.”
A similar incident occurred between 4.50pm and 5.10pm on the same day at Starbucks, also in the Dolphin Shopping Centre, they added.
“A man approached the victim and distracted him with some paperwork, before stealing his mobile phone,” they said.
Police Community Support Investigator Adam Cleaver, of Poole police, said: “I would like to take this opportunity to alert the public to this type of distraction theft.
“We would advise that you do not leave mobile phones or valuable items in clear view while out in public and remain vigilant if strangers approach you.
“If anyone has any information in relation to these incidents, please contact Dorset Police.”
Anyone with information should contact Dorset Police via www.dorset.police.uk or by calling 101, quoting incident number 55230082743. They can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.