A video clip on the BSL Zone site shows gangs in Paris who act Deaf to con money from tourists.
Now it seems the trend of acting deaf in order to commit a crime has spread to the UK too.
The Braintree and Witham times (who’ve unfortunately used the term ‘deaf and mute’ in their article) have reported on an incident in a local estate agency.
Brazen distraction thieves walked into an estate agents and stole an employee’s brand new iPhone 6.
Stuart Bonnett, 26, had only been working for CM Rent in Newland Street, Witham, for a month when two men posing as deaf and mute took the phone from his desk on February 19.
He and his colleague were both busy on their landlines when the men walked in.
The property consultant, from Chelmsford, said: “There were two of them who came in with clipboards to say they were from a deaf and mute charity.
“One kept trying to point at his clipboard and as soon as I looked right, the other guy must have snatched it.
“I am pretty annoyed and shocked because it takes a lot of guts to walk into someone’s work and steal from them.”
Essex Police are appealing for more information.
Call Braintree Police on 101 or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.
The Limping Chicken is the world's most popular Deaf blog, and is edited by Deaf journalist and filmmaker Charlie Swinbourne.
The site exists thanks to our supporters. Check them out below:
- Signature: Leading awarding body for BSL qualifications
- Ai-Media: Remote captioning. Find out 7 things deaf people want you to know!
- Bellman & Symfon: home alerting solutions
- Deaf Umbrella: sign language interpreting and communications support
- Eyewitness Media: TV and film from a Deaf perspective
- Appa: Communication services for Deaf, Deafblind and hard of hearing people
- SignLive: Online video interpreting for Deaf people
- SignVideo: Instant BSL video interpreting online
- 121 Captions: captioning and speech-to-text services
- The National Theatre: Captioned and BSL accessible theatre in London
- Doncaster School for the Deaf: education for Deaf children
- Signworld: Learn BSL online!
- Action Deafness Communications: sign language and Red Dot online video interpreting
- BSLcourses.co.uk: Provider of online BSL courses
- Association of Notetaking Professionals: The professional body representing Electronic and Manual Notetakers
- Sign Solutions: communication support, training and translation
- InterpretersLive: On demand BSL video interpretation
- Hamilton Lodge School in Brighton: education for Deaf children
- Lipspeaker UK: specialist lipspeaking support
- Hearing Choices: Australian hearing aid specialists
- Elmfield School, Bristol: Inclusive education for Deaf pupils
- deafPLUS: BSL advice helpline
- Exeter Deaf Academy: education for Deaf children
- Royal Shakespeare Company: Captioned and BSL interpreted performances (see dates here)
- Royal School for the Deaf, Derby: Residential education for deaf children
- RAD Tax Advice: Tax and Tax Credit info for Deaf people
- Performance Interpreting: BSL interpreting at concerts
- National Deaf Children's Society: The leading charity for deaf children
- Signed Culture: Advocating for BSL access to arts and culture
- SignHealth: healthcare charity for Deaf people
- CJ Interpreting: communication support in BSL
- British Society for Mental Health and Deafness: Promoting positive mental health for deaf people