Thief steals shop takings

AN OPPORTUNIST thief snatched £400 from a till after distracting the sales assistant.

The incident happened at around 5.30pm last Friday (July 22) when a man entered COOK in Mount Street, Battle, shortly before the shop was due to close.

The man told the member of staff that he had arrived to pick up a large order he had placed previously.

When the assistant went out the back to check, the man grabbed the money and fled.

He is described as in his mid 30s, 5ft10 and of average build.

Sgt Paul Masterson, of Battle police, said: “We have seen a couple of offences of this description over the last few months in the Battle area.

“It’s a message to shop owners to be vigilant and if they suspect anybody to call for help from any member of staff.”

He added: “The COOK shop was not on the Shop Watch scheme and we would encourage every business in Battle to get involved with it.”

Around 20 Battle businesses are currently signed up to Shop Watch.

All members of the scheme are connected via radio, which is also linked to Battle police.

If any trader spots anyone or anything suspicious, details can be passed on to others on the scheme and the police in moments.

It is the second time COOK has been targeted by thieves in less than a month.

In the early hours of Tuesday June 28, thieves broke into the store via a back window and stole around £200 cash.

Anyone with any information about the distraction theft, or if anyone would be interested in joining Battle’s Shop Watch scheme, call Sussex Police on 0845 60 70 999.