TRADERS and shoppers in Leek have been urged to be vigilant after a spate of thefts.
Last Thursday, July 31, a group of people which included two males and two females, committed five crimes in the town.
A wallet was stolen from a man's trouser pocket while he was in Aldi supermarket, a pair of shoes were taken from the Salvation Army shop in the Smithfield Centre, £50 was stolen from a desk in Getliffe's Yard, and a phone was taken from a tattoo parlour in Fountain Street.
On another occasion an attempt was made to steal a phone in Derby Street.
Following the incidents one female, believed to be Romanian, was arrested.
A police spokesman said: "The males have been in shops trying to sell 50p leaflets.
"During this time they are confusing people, while the females assist in the crimes.
"We are currently investigating and studying CCTV on the incidents."
On Sunday, August 3, two women, again said to be Romanian, went into the Co-op store in Abbots Road, Leek, where they tried to confuse staff by ordering items which they then decided they did not want.
They then moved into the town centre where they asked staff at Bargain Booze, in Derby Street, to change £180 worth of cash before they were asked to leave."
PCSO Lauren Drew said: "The town centre CCTV has played a very important part and alerted us to the two ladies. One was arrested.
"We urge staff to be on guard when people are making confusing statements to them. If this happens or people are trying to sell things ring us immediately.
"Shoppers also need to be more vigilant and make sure that their purses are secure.
"We have purse cables available at Leek Police Station and people can call in to obtain one."
Police say investigations are ongoing. Anyone with information on any of the incidents is asked to ring Staffordshire Police on the force's 101 number. Alternatively ring Independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.