Police in Aldershot are urging members of the public to be vigilant to opportunistic thieves operating in the town centre.

Officers are hunting a gang of suspects who targeted an elderly woman in Aldershot and attempted stole jewellery from her. Four similar incidents have since been reported.

A 78-year-old woman was approached by two Asian women at around 9.30am on April 26 in Lysons Way and asked for money. When the victim refused, the assailants tried to place a necklace around her neck.

Police believe they did this to confuse the pensioner in an attempt to steal her jewellery but when she screamed, a man came to her aid and the suspects made off empty-handed.

On April 29, Hampshire Constabulary were alerted to four similar incidents. Two men and two women of Asian appearance were seen sat in a silver BMW 5 Series at the junction of Victoria Road and Queens Road.

They called out to women to ask for directions to either the doctors or dentist and encouraged them to approach the car.

Again, they attempted to place jewellery around their necks in an apparent attempt to remove their own jewellery. The victims were all aged between 50 and 70. No injuries were caused and no jewellery was stolen.

Police Constable Vicky Brackstone said: “I would like to hear from anyone who thinks they may have witnessed these incidents or who may have been approached by the suspects.

“These are unusual incidents and we have received no further reports but please be aware when you are out and about and try to keep your valuables out of sight.”

Anyone with information is asked to call Hampshire Constabulary on 101 or call Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.