CCTV APPEAL: 'Sneak thief' targets Preston jewellers

Police would like to speak to this woman in connection with the incident.
Police would like to speak to this woman in connection with the incident.
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Police have launched a CCTV appeal after a high value chain was stolen from a popular Preston jewellers.

A 9 carat belcher chain worth £650 was taken "in a split-second" from unsuspecting staff at Thomas Yates Jewellers on Market Place on May 2, say police.

Police would like to speak to this woman in connection with the incident.

Police would like to speak to this woman in connection with the incident.

According to officers, a man and a woman entered the shop and asked to see a number of items. It is then that police believe the chain was taken.

A spokesman for the police said: "We are appealing for help to identify the people in the CCTV after a theft occurred at Thomas Yates Jewellers in Preston.

"A man and woman entered the shop, approached staff and asked to see certain items of jewellery. Upon presenting them with the items, they asked to see other items which distracted staff.

"In this time, a high value chain is believed to have been removed from the tray and hidden before the couple left the store.

"We think the man and woman in the footage may have important information which will help us with our investigation."

Shirley Rhodes, manager at Thomas Yates Jewellers was outraged by the theft.

She said: "A man came into the shop with a woman on Tuesday looking for a gift for his mother. He asked to see the chains and while he was looking at them asked to see some pendants. I turned for a split second and in that time the chain went.

"They left quite quickly after that and it was only after they'd gone that we realised the chain was missing.

"I was so angry. We're just so fed of this happening round here. This is a hard enough job with very long hours."

Police are investigating the incident. Anybody with information can contact police on 101 quoting crime ref number SA1706363.