THIS IS the man police want to speak to after a string of thefts from shops, cafes and pubs across Hampshire.

Officers believe the man is responsible for stealing from numerous sales assistants by distracting and confusing them while paying for small items.

At each venue he is thought to be making between £10 and £30, with the most recent incident happening on Thursday, at a The Mayflower pub, in Kings Salterns Road, Lymington.

He is thought to have struck in Winchester, Ringwood and Dorset before this latest theft.

He is described as white and in his 40's.

PC Stephanie Rudland from Lymington police station, said: “We believe this man is committing multiple thefts at various pubs, shops and cafes in the Hampshire and Dorset border areas. We need to hear from anyone who can help identify him.

“We also need to warn staff at other similar venues and retail sites throughout Hampshire and Dorset to be wary of anyone who tries similar scams. If you become aware of such actions, please ring the police immediately.”

Anyone with information should contact PC Rudland on 101.