SHOPKEEPERS have been left ‘astonished’ following distraction burglaries in East Wittering.
The incidents on The Parade happened in broad daylight, just before 4pm, last Thursday.
Police currently have reports from two businesses and it is believed more could have been hit.
One of the targets was Kings Bookshop where £200 was stolen.
Owner Linsay Nugent, said: “It was organised crime, there is no doubt about it.”
Working as a pair, the perpetrators pretended to be shopping for their mothers.
While one distracted Ms Nugent, the other took the cash from the till.
“I just think it was slick. They are two very confident people,” she said.
“We try and be as vigilant as we can – I was just a bit astonished.”
Ms Nugent added it was made all the worse because traders in the area were already fighting to survive.
“It’s a recession, things are hard, perhaps they would like to come and try to run a business down here?”
She said: “I don’t want to see that type of behaviour in East Wittering. I want it to be a place people can come and relax and enjoy themselves.”
A similar attempt was also made at Tom Hoar’s Family Butchers.
Jonathan Blanks was in the shop at the time and said: “They decided they wanted a couple of legs of lamb so sent me out the back of the shop. I heard the till being lifted up, came out and confronted them. When I tried to open the till it wouldn’t, that is when they left.”
According to the police statement, both men were white. One was described as in his mid-30s, with short, light brown hair. He was wearing a purple jacket with yellow cuffs, collar and hem, and blue jeans.
The second man was shorter and older, with dark brown curly hair. He was wearing a black jacket and white top, tight-fitting dark trousers and white shoes.
They left, on foot, in the direction of Shore Road.
Anyone who may have seen the men, or noticed anything suspicious, is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 101, quoting serial 957 of 30/4.Alternatively contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.