Loughton CID is investigating a number of reports of robbery, attempted robbery, theft and attempted theft across the Epping Forest district.
The incidents took place between Wednesday May 19 and Sunday July 4.
Victims have reported a woman approaching them and engaging in conversation with them about finding work.
It is then reported that she has shaken the victims’ hand, grabbed hold of their wrist or pushed herself up against them in order to steal their Rolex watches. In several cases, the theft has been successful.
As a result of proactive patrols by Community Safety Team officers, a man and a woman both 29 and from Chigwell, were arrested on suspicion of conspiracy to commit theft after officers spotted them acting suspiciously in a vehicle.
The man was also further arrested on suspicion of driving without insurance.
They have been released under investigation while enquiries continue – this means they are actively being investigated in connection with a number of crimes.
Officers in Loughton CID are aware of similar reported offences elsewhere in Essex and have been considering these alongside the investigation.
There may also be other victims, either in the Epping Forest district or elsewhere in the county, who have not yet come forward.
Anyone who has any information on the thefts and attempted thefts or who believes they may also be a victim should submit a report online at https://www.essex.police.uk or use the ‘Live Chat’ button to speak to an online operator between 7am-11pm.
You can also call 101.