Police are warning the public to be on their guard following reports of two separate incidents that involved a wallet and a purse being stolen in Shrewsbury.
The thefts took place on April 20, the first at premises on Brassey Road and the second shortly after on Beeches Road.
It is believed that the thefts are linked to a telephone bank fraud call that both victims received, close to the time that their items were taken.
The victims were asked to provide details regarding their bank accounts, but they had already become suspicious and refused to do so.
Detective Inspector Sarah Wagstaff said: "Both of these incidents took place in premises which are frequented by members of the public and where it would be easy for someone to come in without raising suspicion.
"They are then free to pick up anything which is lying about or to distract staff whilst they commit their crime.
"We urge everyone to keep their valuables out of sight and not to leave them around in public places."
She added: "We would also remind the public not to give out any financial details over the phone and if you are suspicious about a call hang up and ring your bank using a different phone.
"If you are unfortunate enough to lose your bank cards or have them stolen make sure you cancel them immediately."Subscribe to our Newsletter