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Gwent Police issue another warning against distraction thefts after arrests

Published in News at 10:35, Friday July 13th, 2012. Last updated at 10:38, Friday July 13th, 2012

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Gwent Police have again warned people to be on their guard against distraction thefts taking place on the streets, after a recent spate.

The incidents involve women, described as Eastern European in appearance, offering items of jewellery while trying to steal other items of jewellery worn by the victims.

Since February 2012 there have been nine similar incidents in the Gwent force area – six in Caerphilly County Borough, two in Newport and one in Monmouthshire.

Following a theft of a gold necklace and jewellery worth £200 in Medart Street, Crosskeys, on Monday July 9, two women aged 22 and 23, and a man, aged 21, from the Birmingham area, were arrested on suspicion of theft in Caerphilly town centre.

The two women were later charged with theft and remanded in custody to appear in Caerphilly Magistrates Court. The man was released without charge.

Detective Inspector Dean White, of Caerphilly Local Policing Unit, believes there may be other distraction thieves operating in the area and is urging people to remain vigilant.

He said: “Thieves of Eastern European appearance have been operating in the Gwent area, usually targeting women aged 49 to 85 who are walking on their own.

“Victims are usually approached, asked for directions, and offered items of jewellery, sometimes in a forceful manner.
“The offender will try to place jewellery onto the victim and if they do not purchase the item they will remove it and attempt to remove the victim’s jewellery at the same time.

“It is easy to fall victim to this type of theft because of the tactics thieves use to distract your attention.”

If anyone has information, or sees anything suspicious, they should call Gwent Police on 101.

  • Florentina Constantin, 23, of Nineveh Road, Birmingham, and Vergica Iamandica, 22, also of Nineveh Road, appeared before Caerphilly Magistrates on July 11 both charged with theft. The pair, who originally hail from Romania, were remanded in custody. The hearing was adjourned so that a translator could be found for a later hearing
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