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Police warn lone women shoppers of latest scam to steal bank cards
9:44am Tuesday 14th August 2012 in Wiltshire
Wiltshire police are warning the public about a group of Eastern European criminals who have been targeting lone women in supermarket car parks.
The gang, who have been targeting the west of the county, operate in twos, picking out a lone woman who is going shopping in a supermarket.
The man stands near to the tills and watch the victim enter her pin before follow her out into the car park. At this point, a woman with dark hair approaches the victim at her car asking for directions to somewhere up north.
As the victim’s attention is taken looking at the map, the man will go into her car and steal the credit card that is in her handbag, leaving the purse and handbag.
Once the victim has driven off, the thieves will then go to the nearest ATM and withdraw cash with the stolen card.
The stolen card is always used at the nearest ATM at the supermarket or in the shop before the victim has even had time to get home and realise that the card is gone.
Police have had reports of this scam at Sainsbury’s, Tesco’s and Morrison’s in the west of the county, as well as several thefts reported in the Salisbury area.
Detective Constable Jo Chesshire said: “It is really important we make the public aware of these scams and that we get as much information as possible about those who are doing it.
"They are sneeky criminals who are targeting women who are trusting and happy to help those who ask for directions – it is dreadful that these criminals steal in this way.
"I want all of the public to tell their mums and grannies that this is happening and to make sure you keep your pin secret and do not be distracted by anyone while your valuables are insecure.
"Wiltshire is a county full of friendly people who should not be tricked and stolen from in this way – these criminals are a blight on our county and we need to catch them.”
The woman suspect is described asabout 25 years old with dark or black hair, approx 5ft 5ins, of medium build, olive skin, with an Eastern European accent and sometimes wears a hat.
The man is described as 35-45yrs old with black hair, of medium build, olive skin.
Anyone with information can call DC Chesshire on 101 and Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.