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Dereham hit by series of distraction burglaries

PUBLISHED: 09:48 29 January 2010 | UPDATED: 15:37 07 July 2010

Norfolk police

Norfolk police

Police are investigating a series of distraction burglaries and thefts in and around Dereham.

Two shops were targeted by distraction burglars who stole large amounts of cash and staff possessions.

And a pensioner has raised fears about thieves on public transport after more than £120 was stolen from her bag while travelling on a bus from Dereham.

Police are investigating a series of distraction burglaries and thefts in and around Dereham.

Two shops were targeted by distraction burglars who stole large amounts of cash and staff possessions.

And a pensioner has raised fears about thieves on public transport after more than £120 was stolen from her bag while travelling on a bus from Dereham.

Cash was stolen from one shop's till and from a staff member's handbag in two burglaries on Wednesday, between 3pm and 3.30pm.

In the first theft two men went into Just Kitchenware in the High Street. One distracted staff by asking questions while another went into the staff room and grabbed cash from a handbag.

Eagle News in the Market Place was struck in a similar manner. One male distracted the shopkeeper while another removed what police described as a “large quaintly” of cash from the till.

In another incident a purse containing more than £120 was stolen from Christine Taylor, of Warner Avenue, Dereham as she travelled on a bus between Norwich and Dereham on Thursday morning.

The 65-year-old says she fears it was another distraction burglary after her attention was diverted by a passenger loudly asking the driver if the bus went to Yarmouth. It was not until she got off at Norwich that she noticed her bag was opened and her purse was gone.

The pensioner said: “I think it was a two-man job, the police told me there is a lot of that going on at the moment.

“I was so upset, I never would have thought anyone could have done a thing like this and I would have given them the money if they needed it that badly.”

The purse was later recovered, without the money but with a sentimental photograph, discarded in a Norwich park.

Police are appealing for witnesses to all three incidents to come forward. In relation to the shops thefts, contact PC Emma Hendry-Smith on 0845 456 4567.

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