This CCTV footage captures the moment a little boy was apparently used as part of a distraction theft in a candle shop, police say.
The clip, released by officers, appears to show the man occupying the cashier's attention by pretending to want to buy a candle.
Meanwhile, the youngster, believed to be aged five, sneaks behind the till.
As the adult continued to distract the shop worker by asking questions and swaying from side to side, the young boy grabbed a Samsung Galaxy S7 phone and tried to open the till, police said.
When he couldn't get at the cash, the pair allegedly left with the phone.
Detectives were called to the Candle Shop in The Glades Shopping Centre in Bromley, south London on August 30 after the unusual theft was reported to police.
In a statement, the Met Police said the phone belonged to a shop assistant.
"CCTV footage of the incident has been released and shows a man officers would like to speak to in connection with the incident," the force said.
The adult suspect was described as a large white man, aged in his mid 30s, 5ft 7ins tall, with short brown hair and a beard.