Police Scotland warn businesses of distraction thefts

The Square, Ellon
The Square, Ellon

Police Scotland is urging business owners in Aberdeenshire to be vigilant following a number of distraction thefts and attempted thefts across the region.

Incidents at businesses have occurred between Thursday, August 13, and Friday, August 14, including a jewellers in Ballater, hairdressers in both Ellon and Fraserburgh, a cafe in Banchory and a tanning salon in Banff.

On each occasion a man entered the shop, distracted the occupants and either successfully made off with property or attempted to.

Police believe it is the same male who is responsible.

He is described as having an Asian appearance and aged between 25 and 30 years old.

He is thought to be around five feet four inches tall with short dark hair.

The man has a foreign accent and on all of the occasions he has appeared well dressed.

Crime Reduction Officer for Aberdeenshire, Police Constable Kev Marron, said: “Distraction thefts by their very nature can be confusing and often it is not until the theft has occurred it becomes clear that the individual has been the target of criminal activity.

“It is important that staff ensure that they exhibit a level of security on their premises to discourage criminal behaviour and that they remain alert.

“We would encourage staff to get the image of the culprit caught on any CCTV system, any vehicular registration number and direction of travel but only if it is safe to do so.”

Anyone with any information regarding these incidents or the identity of the suspect can contact Police Scotland on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 to remain anonymous.