Police are urging homeowners to be vigilant following an incident in Kent where a man had his mobile phone stolen by a pair of thieves pretending to be carol singers.
The incident happened at around 6pm on Monday when a man in Sittingbourne opened his door to what appeared to be two male carol singers, described as teenagers.
The duo showed the man a card with writing on it from the charity they said they were raising money for. But when the man left to get some cash for them, he returned to find that his mobile phone, which had been in the hallway, was missing and the two singers were no longer there.
There is traditionally a rise in home insurance claims over the festive season, with the longer nights providing good cover for burglars on the lookout for expensive Christmas presents to steal.
Inspector Julie Dodge, of Kent Police, said: "This is a particularly callous crime, preying on the seasonal goodwill of victims. These individuals show an entire lack of Christmas spirit, especially as they are willing to steal money intended by these residents to go to a very worthwhile charity."
© Press Association 2011