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Suffolk: Police warn shoppers after women in 80s targeted in distraction scams in supermarket car parks

PUBLISHED: 20:00 19 February 2014 | UPDATED: 20:00 19 February 2014

Police are warning residents to be aware of a phone scam

Police are warning residents to be aware of a phone scam

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2011

Police are warning shoppers in Suffolk to be aware of distraction scams after two women in their 80s were targeted in supermarket car parks in the last two weeks.

Officers at Suffolk Constabulary are urging shoppers to be “vigilant” and make older family members aware of these “distraction ploys”.

In the first incident, a man and his female accomplice targeted a woman in her early 80s at a Co-op store car park in Hamilton Road, Felixstowe.

The victim’s purse was stolen in the incident between noon and 1pm on February 7.

She put her purse on the top of one of her shopping bags which she was loading in to the boot of her car when the man and woman approached and asked for help.

The man held a map, got very close to her and pointed at various locations. The woman he was with spoke to him in a foreign language.

Later the victim noticed her purse was missing.

The man is described as in his mid 20s to mid 30s, with dark brown short and wavy hair, of medium build, around 5ft 7ins tall and was wearing a navy blue suit.

The woman is described as being attractive, around 5ft 8ins tall, of slim build with dark brown shoulder length wavy hair, with dark eyes and a dark or tanned complexion. She was wearing a long beige coloured coat and distinctive beige coloured brimmed hat. It is thought a third man may have been with them.

Meanwhile, the bank cards of an 80-year-old woman were stolen in another suspected distraction theft in the car park of a Tesco store in Anson Road, Martlesham, last Thursday evening.

A man approached the woman while she was loading her bags in to the boot of her car, telling her there was a nail in one of her car tyres.

The woman then realised a car door was open which should not have been. She closed it and returned to the boot. The man stood with a nail in his hand and said it was “now okay” before leaving.

The woman later discovered her bank cards had been taken from her purse left in the boot.

The man is described as white, possibly in his 30s, of slim build, around 5ft 10ins tall, with a full head of slightly curly hair. He was polite and spoke with a foreign accent.

In Norfolk, police have received similar reports of supermarket car park distraction thefts in the last two weeks.

A Suffolk Constabulary spokesman said: “Police are asking shoppers to be vigilant and for you to make any older friends, neighbours or relatives aware of these distraction ploys.

“Please keep a close eye on your purse, wallet, handbag, etc, and always be careful when entering your PIN at cashpoints or at store checkouts so that no one can see what numbers you are putting in.

“If you are approached, or see something, and suspect a crime may be in progress please alert police using 999.”

Call police on 101.

Police have arrested a 66-year-old man in connection with an incident that caused armed officers to swoop on Ipswich town centre tonight.

Highways bosses have announced they will be carrying out a series of improvements to the road network across Suffolk and north Essex this week.

Kebab fans will be excited to hear a new fast food outlet that prides itself on making top quality versions of the takeaway staple is opening in Ipswich soon.

Drivers in Woodbridge have faced long delays this afternoon after a major route through the town became flooded.

Firefighters were sent to tackle a blaze that broke out in a flat in Ipswich this afternoon.

Colchester MP Will Quince has described a knife attack in the town that left a teenager seriously hurt as “deeply alarming”.

The shocking prevalence of rape in Ipswich has been uncovered in an EADT and Star investigation.

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