I've just received this email from West Midlands Police that I thought I'd share with you:
Police in central Birmingham would like to take this opportunity to advise you about a new trend whereby pairs of young people, both male and female, are approaching people with clip boards or pieces of paper and allege that they are collecting sponsorship, donations or conducting a survey. These groups speak to and distract victims whilst they are stealing their valuables, sometimes by covering the victim’s property with the clip board or magazine and stealing valuables from underneath.
Some of these offences have been occurring in cafes and pubs.
We ask you to be aware of the security of your belongings. If you have any information or concerns please call Steelhouse Lane police station on 0845 113 5000. Or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
In an emergency please call 999.