Businesses are being warned after a series of distraction thefts in which people speaking in broken English have tried to change bank notes while an accomplice steals items from the shop.

Police say there have been a number of incidents over the last few days in the Holme Valley area where two people have tried to carry out thefts at hairdressers .

The suspects, either two women or a man and a woman, have gone into the salons and asked if they can change £20 or £50 notes for £10 or £5 notes.

They then say they have changed their mind and want their original notes back.

It is all done in broken English and happens very quickly, in an attempt to confuse the staff at the salons.

Either more money is handed over than intended, or during the confusion one of the suspects steals items such as mobile phones or anything of high value which is within reach.

The latest incidents have happened in the Brockholes and Honley areas, and police believe the suspects are local and may be targeting other small businesses, as well as hairdressers.

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They are urging people in rural areas, including Holme Valley, Colne Valley, Kirkburton and Denby Dale, to be vigilant.

The suspects are described as being eastern European, and police are trying to obtain CCTV footage of them .

Anyone with information is being urged to ring 101, or email

In unrelated investigations, police would like to speak to the people pictured in the image gallery below. The people pictured in the images may be witnesses as well as suspects. If you recognise anyone, contact police on 101 quoting the reference number on the image caption.