Warning over ‘slick and professional’ bag thieves
Woman targeted by two men who distracted her as they claimed to be to fixing her car
A WOMAN who had her handbag stolen from her car in Ickenham by two men in a distraction theft has warned others to be vigilant.
The theft happened in Vinlake Avenue, just off Swakeleys Road at around 1.45pm on Thursday, August 18 after the victim had visited a friend.
The victim, who asked not to be named, was approached by the two men who told her there was a fault with her car. While they distracted her by acting as if they were fixing the car, one man made off with the woman’s handbag and the other left shortly after.
The victim said: “This is very likely a common routine. I think it is worth letting people know not to get distracted into letting go of their bag or putting it down when approached by a stranger in the street.
“This is evidently their profession and they are well practised and slick.”
She recalled a man approached her car pointing urgently at the side of the vehicle, and said oil was trailing from the bottom. The victim now suspects that the man had poured oil on the floor to create the trail.
He then asked the woman to open her bonnet and may have pressed the cars unlock button as she had leaned into the car to open it.
She said: “His manner was urgent and reassuring, telling me that he was a mechanic and talking fluently – evidently a well rehearsed patter.”
A second man then approached the vehicle and the woman sensed immediately that they were together, but believed the second man was just waiting for his friend.
The first man then dropped a bead bracelet into the car engine and as the woman helped him look for it. The second man is believed to have opened the car door and taken her handbag while they were distracted.
The second man vanished, and the other followed shortly after, saying he had to meet his girlfriend.
The victim added: “I went to look for my bag, first in the footwell and then in the boot. Of course it had been stolen from the footwell, but in the minute or so that it took me to realise this the man was nowhere to be seen.”
The woman described the first man as in his 40s, with a strong Irish accent, around 5ft 7ins tall and of ‘sturdy build.’
He was wearing casual clothes that could have been worn for a physical job including a khaki green canvas cap. His hair was short and brown.
The second man, who did not speak, is described as younger, of slighter build and with black hair.
Anyone with information that could aid police in their investigation is asked to call 101.