POLICE are warning the public to be vigilant following a spate of distraction thefts at businesses in east Cheshire.

Over the past months thieves have been targeting pubs, bars and offices. Officers are trying to trace the offenders but people are urged to keep valuables out of sight and secure.

In most cases iPhones are being targeted.

They approach a member of the public, place maps or leaflets on the table, masking the phone and engage their victim in conversation.

They then pick up the phone and leave before the victim realises what has happened.

Officers across the area are providing a high visibility presence but advise:

- Be wary if approached by somebody asking for directions or showing you leaflets

- Consider switching your Bluetooth off as this may be used by the theives to identify active iPhones in the area

- Keep a note of your phone’s number and International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) and note any distiguishable features

- Don’t leave your phone on display.