Greater Manchester Police are are currently investigating five separate incidents involving thefts or attempted thefts of high value watches using a distraction technique commonly known as ‘hugger mugging’.
This involves physical contact by offenders to distract victims while watches or jewellery are stolen.
The first incident occurred around 3pm on Thursday 3rd May when a woman entered the front passenger seat of a vehicle parked on South Downs Road, Bowdon.
She began hugging the driver despite his continued efforts to push her away. When the offender eventually left the man discovered his Rolex watch had been stolen.
Around 10.30pm later that day, a man was approached by two women on Ashley Road, Hale, who used similar physical contact to distract him and steal his Rolex watch.
Also around 3pm on Thursday 3 May, another attempted theft took place on Langham Road, Bowdon.
Two women asked a man where they could stay for the night. The man suggested a local hotel, whereupon one woman took the man’s hand and suggested they stay with him.The man thought they were looking at his watch and immediately left.
Around 5pm on Wednesday 16 May, two women approached another woman from behind on Cecil Road.They grabbed the victim’s wrist and removed her Rolex watch before fleeing.
While 3.30pm the same day, two women approached the driver of a vehicle on Hill Top, Hale.
One woman introduced herself and reached into the vehicle through the open driver’s window. Fortunately the driver was not wearing a watch and the women left empty handed.
One offender is described as in her late 20s. She is of big build, with dark frizzy long hair.
The other offender is described as being in her early to mid-30s. She is of smaller build, with shorter hair which is straight and brown/mousey in colour.
Both were wearing a jacket with a white blouse and spoke with foreign accents.
The women may also wear glasses.
Sergeant Mark Allister-Smith of GMP’S Trafford Division, said: “The victims of these crimes have been left understandably distressed by their ordeal.
“We are treating these incidents as linked and are making extensive enquiries to trace the offenders.
“We would ask anyone who may have information to contact police immediately.”
Anyone with information should call Trafford South Police on 0161 856 7530.
Information can also be left anonymously with the independent charity, Crimestoppers, on 0800 555 111.