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Haverhill businesses on alert after thief strikes at High Street accountants




Haverhill businesses have been targeted by a brazen thief who claims to be looking for assistance and then, while the person helping him is distracted, steals their mobile phone.

The distraction technique was used at 1 Accounts, in CXG House, in High Street, on Friday afternoon and the crime is being linked by police to similar incidents that took place earlier that day in both Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket.

The thief is is also believed to be the same individual who visited at least four other town centre business in Haverhill last Friday, where his efforts to distract and steal were unsuccessful.

1 Accounts director Paul Donno and his daughter Jade (right) at the launch earlier this year of the St Nicholas Hospice Care Accumulator Challenge. Contributed picture
1 Accounts director Paul Donno and his daughter Jade (right) at the launch earlier this year of the St Nicholas Hospice Care Accumulator Challenge. Contributed picture

Paul Donno, owner of 1 Accounts, said the man walked into the office between 2.30pm to 3pm and asked his daughter Jade for help to translate something in Italian on her computer.

As she did so, he stole her £600 iPhone XR from the desk and swiftly left the building before getting into a car in Eden Road and being driven off by an accomplice.

Mr Donno said: “Jade was shaken up. She was quite upset, being someone that doesn’t mind helping people and then someone takes advantage.

“You just don’t think it’s going to happen on your doorstep do you.

“It’s quite worrying that someone can walk into an office like that so now we’ve got a different policy and people coming into the office, because we are open planned, now the door is locked. Bear in mind he entered an office that had six people in it.”

A police spokesman said a man matching the same description and using the same modus operandi of asking his victims to translate something from Italian to English, struck in Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket earlier that day.

He took a mobile phone from a business in Station Road, Stowmarket, at about 11.30am before taking a mobile phone from a business in Risbygate Street, Bury St Edmunds half an hour later.

The spokesman said the man is described as tall, of large build with a black backpack and tanned complexion and wore a black beanie hat.

Anyone with information about the thefts should call 101 and ask for the incident and crime management hub, quoting reference 69218/19


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