Sheffield student's urgent warning over 'spate of paper distraction thefts' across city

A Sheffield student has issued an urgent warning over ‘distraction thefts’ after her phone was stolen.

Friday, 31st May 2019, 1:36 pm

The woman said she was sitting in Starbuck’s on Fargate yesterday when she was approached by a man.

She said that the man approached her while she was studying downstairs in the coffee shop, carrying a ‘piece of paper with symbols on it’.

The man then mouthed he was deaf before rubbing his stomach to indicate he was hungry.

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Fargate, Sheffield.

When the student explained she had no cash on her, the man then passed her the piece of paper.

However, when the student and her tutor later moved seats she realised that her phone purse and book were now missing.

She informed police who told her there was a group of people operating this distraction theft around Sheffield.

“There are men/women in Sheffield town going around with a paper with symbols on it.. don't read it!! He’s getting people to read the distraction while he takes your phone or items. In my case it was my new phone,” She wrote on Twitter.

“The man approached me and I stated to him that i did not have cash on me and he then gave me the paper he was holding as I thought it was Arabic or directions he needed help getting to.

“My phone was on my book next to me and i was on my laptop. I read the paper and it was a bunch of "903-KEP93-KPSJ.

“I had no clue at all but I began to feel weird and dizzy so I gave it him back and said sorry I can not help you (which I really couldn't).

“My tutor came back and she suggested we move to a seat with no speakers. That's when i noticed MY PHONE PURSE AND BOOK GONE.

“I do not understand how he took it all while I was distracted but after Starbucks checking CCTV they could see, and also the police said there has been a group of people doing this in Sheffield.

“I’m ok and phones are replaceable anyway. But be carerful and always have your find iPhone on.”

South Yorkshire Police have been contacted for a response.