Police hunt man after little boy used for distraction theft from London shop

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Police are hunting for a man who appeared to use a little boy as a tool in a suspected distraction theft in south London.

The man was seen on CCTV attracting the shop assistant’s attention in a candle shop in Bromley by pretending to be interested in buying something.

But as the staff member is distracted a small boy – thought to be around 5-years-old – runs behind the unattended till and grabs the assistant’s Samsung Galaxy phone.

The child, whose head can barely been seen over the counter, attempts to open the till but is unable to and instead hides the phone under his coat and leaves the shop with the man.

Theft: The child is seen running behind the counter as the man speaks with the shop assistant (Metropolitan Police)

Police have released the video of the suspected theft, which officers believe happened just before 5pm on August 30 at The Glades Shopping Centre on Bromley High Street.

The man in the video is described as white, in his mid-30s, 5ft 7 and with short brown hair and a beard. 

PC Ben Briselden said: “We are keen to identify the man in the CCTV footage who appears to use the child in their care to steal from those working in a candle shop. 

“We would also urge anyone who witnessed the incident to contact us.”

Anyone with information or any witnesses are urged to call police on 101 or by tweeting @MetCC. To give information anonymously, please call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. 

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