Police are appealing for witnesses following two shoplifting incidents in a Northumberland town centre .
The appeal comes during Northumbria Police’s Operation Soundwave, aimed at tackling thefts and burglaries across the force.
Northumbria Police said the incidents ‘took place on Friday, April 24, at stores within the town centre’.
“The first happened at Boots on Bridge Street between 1pm and 1.30pm. Offenders entered the store and stole eight pairs of designer brand sunglasses and left without paying.
“Officers believe the same offenders also struck at Vision Express in Sanderson Arcade between 1.10pm and 1.20pm. Again they targeted designer brands of sunglasses and stole four pairs.
“At each shop two women distracted staff by booking an eye examination appointment. While they were doing this two or three other young men aged late teens to early 20s have stolen the sunglasses from the display.
“The two woman are described as: First woman - mid 60s, 5 feet 8” tall, dark hair, a local accent and wearing a brown top. Second woman - mid 30s, 5 feet 8” tall, medium build, with long dark hair in a ponytail, a local accent and wearing a purple top. The two women had a boy aged around ten years and possibly another child with them.”
Neighbourhood Sergeant Sharon Wilmore-Greaves said: “We want to alert shop staff to this type of crime and ask them to be vigilant and report any suspicious behaviour to police straightaway. We’re also appealing for witnesses to these crimes.
“We want to hear from anyone who was in the area and who may have seen or heard anything suspicious to contact police.”
Officers are continuing to work alongside the retailers, Shopwatch in Morpeth and the Arcade’s security team to identify thieves and prevent offences from taking place.
Anyone with information should contact police on 101, extension 69191, quoting reference number 24696E/15 or ring the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.