Shocking footage has captured the moment a depraved dad uses his little girl as a decoy to distract staff as he steals a mobile phone .
The appalling incident happened at Baseo electronics shop, in Southend, Essex.
It was captured on the busy store’s CCTV camera and staff have now released the footage in a bid to trace the dad and another woman who enters the High Street shop with him.
The video shows the dad pick the little girl up and sit her on the counter.
A red-haired woman,then approaches the counter while the man kisses the girl on the cheek.
As the shop assistant turns away the man is seen ducking behind the girl and reaches behind the counter to grab the phone, before quickly putting it in his pocket.
The thief, dressed in a grey polo shirt and blue jogging bottoms, escaped with a £150 Samsung phone.
After grabbing the phone, the man wheels the pushchair around, picks the girl up with one arm and plonks her in the seat.
The video has been shared more than 6,000 times on Facebook.
An Essex Police spokesman said:
“Police are investigating the theft of a mobile phone from Baseo in Southend High Street.
“Anybody who recognises the man, who is white, in his mid to late 20s with dark hair, skinny and wearing a grey polo shirt, is asked to contact police on 101.”