POLICE have issued a warning about bogus charity collectors after offenders called at two shops in Pershore and Evesham claiming to be raising money for deaf and blind people.

Both incidents occurred on Tuesday morning and although no money was handed over to any of the collectors, a mobile phone was stolen.

On Tuesday morning, two men went into a shop in the Royal Arcade, in Broad Street, Pershore, at about 10am collecting to provide “assistance” for the deaf. They used sign language, asking for a donation but left empty-handed. They were wearing baseball caps and were also described as having darkly tanned skin.

The second incident happened at about 11.10am when a man carrying a clipboard called into a shop in Merstow Green, Evesham, placing it over the top of a phone on the desk.

Police Constable Paul Blundell said: “He said he was collecting to build a centre for deaf and blind children and placed the clipboard on the desk on top of a mobile phone.

“The man had no identification and on leaving the shop, the white Samsung Galaxy S4 phone in a pink cover and worth £480, was taken.”

The suspect is thought to be Eastern European and described as aged about 25 to 35 with a tanned complexion. He was wearing a dark blue baseball cap and blue jeans.

Police are linking the two incidents and are appealing for any information regarding the identities of those involved.

“We also want people to be aware of this activity and to be on their guard if approached, PC Blundell added. "It seems shopkeepers are being targeted and a close watch should be kept on possessions such as mobile phones if visible on counters or desks.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police on the non-emergency number 101.