Police want to trace three people who appeared to engineer the brazen theft of £1,000 ($1,400) from a woman queuing up at a bank in London.

CCTV shows a young woman entering the busy branch in Barking and engaging the victim in conversation while a male accomplice carefully pilfers an envelope containing £920 from the victim's bag.

A third man appears to be with the pair and leaves with them after the theft has taken place.

The woman is left completely unaware of what has gone on and only realised she was a grand down when she got to the cashier and found the envelope missing.

The Met's East Area Crime Command is investigating the matter, but has so far made no arrests.

"We are appealing for any information as to the identity of these three suspects," said PC Matthew Trenfield-Brown.

"This was a devious theft where the victim appears to have been targeted and fallen victim to a planned distraction theft, with three people seemingly working together to commit the offence.

In a statement, the Met described the suspects as:

  • An Asian woman, aged in her 20s with long straight brown hair. She was wearing a grey beanie hat, grey top, grey tracksuit trousers and black shoes.
  • A a man of Eastern European appearance, aged in his 30s, with short black hair and a short black beard. He was wearing a cream-coloured T-shirt, blue jeans and blue trainers with white soles.
  • An an Asian man, aged in his 30s, with receding short dark hair. He was wearing a black baseball cap, a dark-coloured body warmer, grey tracksuit trousers and white trainers.

Anyone who can assist the investigation is asked to contact East Area Command via 101 or by Tweeting @MetCC. To give information anonymously contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or visit crimestoppers-uk.org.

Bank queue distraction theft
Police want to identify the woman and two men in this photo Metropolitan Police