Phone thieves have been targeting young people as they enjoy a night out in Brighton, police have warned.
The work together while offering to sell laughing gas balloons as their method of operation or modus operandi (MO).
Sussex Police said: “We continue to be aware of reports of people having their mobile phones and other personal items stolen when out on a night out.
“The MO? A group of two to three men are approaching members of the public and offering to sell them nitrous oxide balloons.
“Once an exchange has taken place, they then offer to add their contact details into the victim’s phone.
“When these males have the phone, they then run, leaving them with access to the unlocked phone including banking details.
“Use of nitrous oxide can be dangerous and it is now a criminal offence to be in possession of this class C drug.
“We urge you to stay vigilant and think SMART!
“Security – Ensure your security features (PIN, tracking, etc) are enabled on your phone.
“Mindful – Keep your phone on you at all times – use a security strap, keep it in a zipped pocket and keep it out of sight in busy places.
“Aware – Be aware of your surroundings and only use your phone when safe to do so.
“Refuse – Don’t hand your phone over to strangers under any circumstances.
“Trust – Trust your instincts, if something doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t.
“Call 999 if you feel in danger or if you see our officers please talk to them.”