A beautician's shop that raised the alarm about a marauding criminal gang has now fallen victim to the same tactics they used five months ago.

In July, the Blossom Clinic in Beccles alerted other businesses and shared CCTV footage of thieves using distraction tactics to attempt to grab items from the shop.

It led to other business owners using Facebook to share their stories of the same group of men coming into their shops and behaving suspiciously.

Some shops had items stolen by the men, while others were able to usher the gang out without losing any stock.

But now the Blossom Clinic has been targeted again - and this time the distraction thieves got away with a mobile phone.

In a Facebook post, The Blossom Clinic said the men entered the shop at 5.30pm on Thursday, November 16 and stole a phone from the reception desk using a distraction technique -  pretending to be a delivery driver collecting a parcel.

The Pearl River Chinese in Beccles also said the men went into their restaurant begging for work, but staff ushered them out without having anything stolen.

Beccles & Bungay Journal: A CCTV image of the alleged thief taken at The Blossom Clinic on Thursday, November 16A CCTV image of the alleged thief taken at The Blossom Clinic on Thursday, November 16 (Image: The Blossom Clinic)

The Blossom Clinic and Pearl River Chinese said on Facebook they believed this to be the return of the same group, as the incidents are similar to those in July in which criminals targeted firms on either side of the Norfolk-Suffolk county border along a 20-mile corridor linked by the A146.

The three men - dubbed the A146 Gang - called at pubs, shops and beauty salons, distracting staff and customers with bizarre tactics, before stealing items and moving on to the next location, sometimes just metres away.

The ploy involved causing confusion. The men were seen waving magazines at workers and bombarding them with a string of unusual demands, while stealing loose items like phones, keys and cash.

The group was repeatedly captured on CCTV and police were alerted while the raids were ongoing.

A number of the victims contacted each other on Facebook at the height of the spree and shared information.

However, officers were unable to detain the men in July and still no arrests have yet been made.


Despite the claims, Suffolk Police have said it is too early to link the recent theft with the swathe of incidents in the summer.

READ MORE: 'A146 gang' hunted over two-hour 20 mile lightning crime blitz

A police spokesman said: "The incident happened at around 5.30pm on Thursday November 16.

"An unknown male entered the clinic and took a mobile phone while distracting staff.

"Police are investigating and the suspect has been described as aged between 25 and 30, about 6ft 3in, with black hair and wearing a covid-style face mark. Spoke poor English.

"Wearing a buttoned-up shirt and silver puffer coat.

"Anyone with information should contact Suffolk police, crime ref 37/66717/23."