Officers want to speak to two women pictured in connection with distraction thefts in Oldham.
More than ten distraction thefts have been recorded across the borough by police since 1 December last year.
Among the tactics used to dupe innocent shoppers and residents include offering people cheap jewellery and placing it on their hands or neck before stealing the victim’s own jewellery.
Other methods include offenders bumping into people at ATMs and stealing their money, while it has also been reported that men and women have been hysterically asking where the nearest hospital is before they are joined by more offenders who steal from them.
Detectives have been carrying out extensive enquiries to catch the culprits including reviewing CCTV and patrolling busy areas.
Now officers have released images of two women they want to speak to as part of these enquiries.
Detective Constable Matthew Adshead, from GMP’s Oldham borough, said: “I want to assure residents and people visiting Oldham that we are doing everything we can to find the people responsible for these offences.
““Elderly people in particular are sadly being targeted and we understand crimes like this, where offenders prey on the trusting nature of innocent people, are distressing and can affect people’s confidence.
“We have now released two images in the hope of identifying the women pictured.
“If you recognise them, have any information about them, or if you are the women in the pictures, then please contact police.”
Anyone with any information about these incidents, or the women pictured, is urged to call police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.