Playwright Alan Bennett's wallet was stolen by pickpockets during a "distraction" scam in north London.
The thieves stole the writer's wallet, containing £1,500, in Camden High Street while pretending to clean his coat after spattering ice cream on it.
The theft took place after midday on Friday and the Metropolitan Police are looking for three suspects.
Bennett, 76, is best known for his Talking Heads monologues, The Madness of George III and The History Boys.
No arrests have been made in the case.
A Met spokesman said: "We can confirm detectives from Camden robbery squad are investigating an allegation of robbery.
"The incident occurred on Friday at about 12.15pm in a shop on Camden High Street.
"The victim, a man aged in his 70s, was robbed of an amount of money by three suspects."