Police and victims alike are warning business owners to be proactive after a series of premises were targeted by thieves - who have taken pricey phones and cash.
The daylight robbers have put a particular focus on hairdressing salons in East Dunbartonshire but crucially, officers believe that their scam is being successfully tried elsewhere in Central Scotland.
Tried and tested diversionary tactics have been used in their quest to help themselves to their ill-gotten gains.
The victims have not only involved police but taken to social media to flag up the risks presented by a duo thought to be in their 20s and 30s who are of Asian appearance.
One shop owner in Bearsden posted on a community facebook page “Two young guys went into the hairdressers next door to me asking for an address.
“As all the staff were busy with customers there was no one behind the counter. “The guys stood at the counter with a piece of paper pretending they were writing down the address.“
However, what they were actually doing was pocketing a mobile phone which had been left behind the counter by a member of staff. The theft has been reported to the police.
“Apparently they had attempted to steal from three different shops within half an hour. I would advise all local shops to be vigilant as they will probably try it again.”
Police have stressed that enquiries into these incidents are continuing.