A Haymarket business has been targeted by brazen thieves not once, but twice in the space of a week.
Pippin Gifts, owned by Erica Stahl, has been robbed of £20 after two women worked together to defraud the business.
Two women entered the store and were deemed unable to speak English.
A woman distracted Erica by dramatically reading a pair of sunglasses and blocking the store owner’s view of the second woman.
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That’s when they were able to steal some items.
Commenting on the incident, which happened on the afternoon of Wednesday June 15, Erica said: “The two women came in and one of them started asking me about something. .
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“She spoke no English and acted out, then started putting on a big show as she examined a pair of sunglasses, standing between me and her friend to block my view.
“I was on the phone so I was a bit distracted.
“Afterwards I realized there were two items missing and checked the CCTV which shows one of the women taking them from the shelf and not putting them back and then leaving.
“They had the nerve to come back yesterday, but my co-worker recognized them from the CCTV footage and immediately alerted me.
“I came and kicked them out and told them I was calling the police.”
But it wasn’t the first time the independent business had been targeted by thieves.
Erica says shoplifters also stole three Jellycat toys on April 30 earlier this year, but the eagle-eyed shopkeeper was able to spot the culprits and demand the return of his stock.
She added: “The other incident happened on April 30 when two young women came in and stole three Jellycat toys while I was busy serving other customers.
“Again, I realized what was missing after they left.
“Once my other customers left, I went outside to see if I could see the girls and they happened to be walking past my shop at the time!
“I confronted them and asked for my stock and they handed it over.
“From the looks of their bags, they’d had a whole afternoon, plenty of other items in there that weren’t mine.”
Erica hopes that by sharing her story, other businesses in the area can be vigilant to ensure the same thing doesn’t happen again.
A Police Scotland spokesperson said: ‘We can confirm that at around 12.20pm on Wednesday June 15, police received a report of theft from a shop in Haymarket Terrace, Edinburgh.
“Investigations are ongoing.”