Distraction thefts in the town centre

25th February 2019

Officers are urging people to be mindful of security after a number of mobile phone distraction thefts in Ipswich over the last few weeks.  The latest incident occurred at a business premises in Northgate Street on Wednesday 20th February. At around 12.30pm a man entered the shop asking for directions. While the assistant was helping the man he went behind a desk. After the man had left the shop, the assistant realised her iPhone had been stolen.

A similar incident was reported at a shop in St Lawrence Street on the 19th February, St Helens Street on the 12th February and Neale Street on the 14th February. In each incident a person enters the shop asking for directions and a mobile phone was stolen.

If you have any information about these thefts please contact Suffolk Police on 101 quoting crime reference 37/10439/19 or use the online crime reporting link – http://www.suffolk.police.uk/contact-us/report-something.

Thousands of mobile phones are stolen every month. By taking a few simple steps you can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of phone theft.

  • Always use the security lock code on your smart phone.
  • Register your phone with the provider as they will be able to stop your phone being used if you report it as stolen.
  • When using your phone, be aware of your surroundings and do not use it in crowded areas or where you feel unsafe.
  • Avoid displaying your phone in public. Keep it with you at all times and do not leave it unattended.
  • The 15-digit serial or IMEI number helps to identify your phone and can be accessed by keying *#06# into most phones or by looking behind the battery of your phone. Make a note of this number and keep it separate from your phone, as this number could help the police to trace ownership quickly if it is stolen.
  • You can also register your phone free at ImmobiliseYou can do this by visiting this website and entering your contact details and your mobile phone’s IMEI number. If your phone is lost or stolen, they can then block both your SIM card and phone. If the phone is found by the police they will be able to trace the owner through Immobilise.

If your phone is stolen:

  1. Report the theft to the police as soon as possible. They will want the following details: phone model details; phone number; and serial/IMEI number (if you have it).
  2. Contact your service provider immediately, giving the number of the phone. The network operator will then identify the IMEI number (International Mobile Equipment Identity) for the handset and arrange for it to be blocked on all networks. This means that even if the SIM card is swapped the phone will still be useless.

Further security advice can be found on the Suffolk Police webpage www.suffolk.police.uk.