London

London pickpocket victim 'put in trance'

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Media captionPolice have released CCTV footage which shows the shopkeeper apparently in a trance as the suspected robber rifles through his pockets

A shopkeeper appeared to "fall into a trance" as a suspected robber rummaged through his pockets in a London off licence, the Metropolitan Police said.

The suspect told the owner of the shop on Archway Road, north London, his wife was pregnant and needed some water.

Police said the suspect took cash from the shopkeeper's pockets. He then left the shop, pursued by the victim.

The incident was caught on CCTV and police are trying to trace a man aged 30-35 and about 5ft 6ins tall.

Det Sgt Dave Bullock said the victim was "momentarily totally unaware of what has happened to him".

He added: "The suspect's distraction tactics seemed to have put him into a trance leaving him open to be robbed."

The incident took place on 11 September just before 22:00 BST.

The suspect is slim build with short black hair, wearing dark jeans, a grey polo shirt and a black bomber jacket.

Watch the full video and appeal on Crimewatch at 21:00 GMT.

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