PRESS RELEASE - DISTRACTION THEFTS IN WILTS

Alert message sent 19/02/2020 16:56:00

Information sent on behalf of Wiltshire Police


Date: 18 February 2020

Be vigilant when shopping following spate of distraction thefts in supermarket car parks

We’re urging residents to be vigilant following a spate of distraction thefts in supermarket car parks.

In the latest incident, which took place at approximately 2.30pm on February 12, a woman in her 80s had returned to her vehicle in the Morrisons car park in Warminster having done her shopping, when she was approached by a man who asked her for help. As she sat in the driver’s seat, he held a note to the window and requested she got out of the car to assist him with a friend who had a medical emergency. 

It is not believed the man spoke English. 

The woman refused to get out of her vehicle but during the incident, and unbeknown to her, someone had taken her bank card from her purse which was on the front passenger seat. 

She was alerted the following day by her bank that her debit card had been used to make several large purchases in the Bath area to the value of £4,000. All transactions were made using the victim’s PIN number so it is likely the offenders had observed her purchasing her shopping in Morrisons. 

Enquiries are ongoing.

Similar incidents have also been reported in Tesco, County Way, Swindon, Morrisons in Chippenham and Tesco Extra in Bourne Way, Salisbury.

PC Sue Ellway said: “We are conducting a number of enquiries in relation to these incidents which have no doubt caused a lot of upset and distress to the victims. 

“I’d like to remind shoppers of the importance of ensuring you shield your PIN number when shopping as you never know who may be watching. Be aware of your surroundings at all times and if you see anything suspicious, call police immediately on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”
 
 
Message sent by
Lee Pelling (Police, Neighbourhood PC, CPT Trowbridge)

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