Wealthy older golfers are being targeted by a gang of female robbers dubbed the Rolex rippers, police have warned.
As first reported by The Times, it is said that women are approaching lone men in car parks in golf clubs or supermarkets.
They reportedly are carrying clipboards and claim to be conducting market research before swiping the watches by leaning in and hugging the victim as a thank you.
Cops in Hampshire issued the warning of the "sleight of hand" thefts. Similar offences have been recorded in Dorset, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire.
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Police in Hampshire said one offender leaned in and tried to kiss the victim in front of his wife after asking him to sign a petition to support a deaf charity.
One theft at a UK golf club involved a woman dressed "in a nurse type uniform", a police spokesman said.
"They claimed to be collecting signatures for a deaf centre," a police statement released yesterday said. "While signing the document, one gave the man a hug while the other grabbed his left hand. One tried to kiss the man but he broke away, and they walked off quickly. A short time he realised his watch was missing."
No arrests have been made despite a high number of linked incidents.
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A police spokesman told the paper: "We are appealing for information and offering crime prevention advice following a spate of luxury watch distraction thefts and robberies across the county in the past year.
"During each incident, the suspect — typically a woman — has targeted elderly victims in public places by pretending to ask them about a survey or a petition. They often use a clipboard as a prop to appear genuine."
It was revealed that during the last 12 months, more than 30 incidents have been reported to the police.
Victims were targeted predominantly because they were wearing high-value watches.
Cops have urged people to photograph valuable jewellery and watches against a plain background with a ruler next to it, keep a written description and consider paying for forensic marking with a traceable liquid.