String of thefts, burglaries and shopliftings in Lewes

A SPATE of thefts, burglaries and shopliftings in Lewes has prompted Sussex Police to appeal for information.

They are also urging members of the public to report any suspicious sightings to them.

It is believed the offenders work in teams, although there are often reports of two dark-haired, dark skinned women who are sometimes in the company of a man.

All the incidents are believed to be committed by the same group of people.

The first two crimes happened on January 11 when a handbag and Blackberry mobile phone were stolen from one victim and a handbag and mobile phone were taken from another at Lewes Town Hall.

The following day a Blackberry mobile phone was stolen from the female changing room in Waitrose and police also received a report of two women walking into various shops in Lewes acting suspiciously.

They were described as being of mixed race with long black hair and foreign accents, wearing chunky cardigans and long skirts.

On January 20, two women were arrested for shoplifting at Lewes.

A 20 year old from London was cautioned and a 36 year old from London charged with theft and going equipped for theft.

She is due to appear at Eastbourne Magistrates’ Court on February 2.

On Tuesday January 24 a Romanian couple entered Tesco in Brooks Road and asked the cashier for change.

They then tried to confuse the member of staff before leaving in a Renault Laguna.

The following day a burglary took place at Laportes in Lansdown Place, Lewes.

Two women described as Latin American and dark skinned went into the shop and one distracted staff whilst the other went into a closed area where staff keep their personal belongings.

It was later discovered that an i-pad had been stolen. One of the suspects is described as being tall, in her 20s, with dark hair tied back, wearing a long black skirt and carrying lots of bags.

The second was short, also with dark hair tied back, wearing black leggings and lots of jewellery. Both spoke broken English.

A police spokesperson said: “This list is by no means exhaustive as there have been several similar incidents by offenders matching the same description. We are hoping that the public, together with shop staff, can help the police by acting as our eyes and ears and reporting anything suspicious to us.

“The people committing these crimes are clearly very professional and know exactly what they are doing. This is a timely reminder for shop staff to always ensure that their personal belongs are securely locked away whilst they are working.

“If anyone has any information that may be useful to police then we would urge them to call us as soon as possible on 101. Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”