A LARGE amount of gold jewellery was stolen in an apparent distraction burglary in Shrewsbury.
Police are appealing for anyone who saw a group of about six people in the area of Ellesmere Road, at the junction with Wood Street, between about 12.50pm and 1.35pm on Monday.
The group entered a convenience store where they distracted the owner by asking for various items and kept her talking at the till.
Meanwhile, at least one member of the group broke into the residential part of the business through a locked door and stole cash and Asian-style gold jewellery, much of it 22ct.
The burglary was discovered a short time after the group left. CCTV from the store is being checked.
The group comprised of two men - one in his 20s and another in his 60s with a fresh cut on his left cheek - and four women - one in her 20s, one in her 40s, one in her late 30s and the other in her late 30s or early 40s.
All had dark olive skin and dark hair and spoke broken English to the shopkeeper.
PC Richard Edward said the group would have been distinctive and someone must have seen them in the area that afternoon.
He said: “Ellesmere Road is a busy location and there are lots of houses nearby, so someone must have seen this group in the area.
“Some of the jewellery stolen was cosmetic but a large amount was made of 22ct gold and of distinctive Asian design.”
PC Edward also urged business to be vigilant for persons trying to distract staff.
He added: “All shop staff should be alert to anyone who comes in and tries to distract their attention, often by asking for various items but then changing their minds several times.
“In this incident, the victim was kept talking and retrieving items for the group for a significant amount of time, keeping her attention on them while the attached home was broken into.
“If you have any suspicions at all about people in your shop or business, call the police or ask them to leave.”
Anyone with information can call West Mercia Police on 0300 333 3000 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.