Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 20°C

min temp: 15°C

ESTD 1874 Search

Suffolk: Police warn supermarket customers to be on their guard after distraction theft at Martlesham Heath Tesco

16:44 16 April 2014

Tesco at Martlesham.

Tesco at Martlesham.

Suffolk police have said they have dealt with 19 cases of distraction thefts in supermarket car parks since the beginning of last October.

shares

And now they are warning people to be on their guard to combat the organised gangs responsible.

Various ruses are used by thieves, often working in pairs or even larger groups, to draw the victim’s attention away from their car or trolley.

These include being approached by someone who tells you there is a nail in your car tyre, that you’ve dropped money or wants to ask you for directions.

While the victim is distracted by the stranger’s query another person will steal a bank card from their pocket, car or trolley.

The criminals will have identified their target in advance and followed them to the check-out where they take a note of the card’s PIN.

They often target older people or those in disabled parking areas.

The most recent incident was on March 31 in the car park of Martlesham Heath’s Tesco store.

A woman returning to her car was asked for directions by a man in a nearby car. She left her vehicle for a short period to help and later found two bank cards have been taken from her bag.

Suffolk Constabulary’s community safety manager Alan Osborne said: “It would appear that these distraction type offences are on the increase, not only in Suffolk but across the country and are likely to be carried out by organised crime groups.

“We would remind people to always check-out securely ensuring you cover the keypad when you enter your PIN and then always being aware of the distraction tactics used at your vehicle or whilst with your trolley.

“Keep your personal belongings with you at all times, and lock your vehicle if you walk away from it or bend down to check your tyres.

“Criminal groups are always looking at different and elaborate ways to dupe and distract people so we would remind you to be on your guard and aware of what is happening around you.”

If you notice any suspicious activity or believe a crime is in progress you are asked to contact police straight away on 999 or if you would like to find out further information about crime prevention advise you should call your local Crime Reduction Officer on 101.

shares

2 comments

  • This happened to my Gran in Chingford Morrisons. But as she was too savvy for them with the 'you have dropped some money' distraction, they actually followed her home and did the same outside her own house. Managing to rob from her bag in her car on her driveway. Plus scaring the life out of her. Pure scumbags and yes they were foreign of eastern European decent (police think Romanian), but we can't brandish them all with the same brush.

    Report this comment

    A Bell

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

  • And I bet not one of them is English.

    Report this comment

    Tedbundy

    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

Anne Brown, cabinet member for communities and healthy living at Essex County Council, said cutting rates of smoking was a public health priority for the authority.

More than one in 10 teenagers smoke in Essex, shock new figures have revealed.

South East Suffolk Magistrates Court

A 60-year-old dangerous driver has admitted clattering into two cars when he got behind the wheel having taken heroin.

Police attend the scene of a major incident near the train station in Bury st Edmunds on Tuesday 4th August.

Police have spoken to reassure residents after a man was shot in the stomach in Bury St Edmunds this evening.

Frederico Santa-Barbara of Jacobsen and Neil Cleverly, superintendent of the Rio Olympic Golf Course, with a selection of equipment supplied by Jacobsen for the course ahead of the 2016 Olympic Games.

Two machines built at the Ipswich factory of turf maintenance equipment company Ransomes Jacobsen have been delivered to the Rio Olympic Golf Course in Brazil.

The scene of an accident on the A1088 at Honington.

A doctor from Ixworth who died in a road traffic accident in west Suffolk has been described as “highly regarded” within his profession and “popular”.

AcCormorant flies near the Round Pond in Christchurch Park.

A cormorant was spotted diving in to the water in the Round Pond at Christchurch Park in Ipswich today.

The hoodie hides most of this man's face

The value of e-fits was defended last night as new figures reveal only one image released to the public in the past three years has resulted in an arrest.

Maritime Festival at Ipswich Waterfront.

Historic vessels, Old Gaffers, a food market and a funfair will all line the Waterfront for the annual maritime extravaganza later this month.

Officers detain a reveller in Ipswich town centre.

A clamp down on off-licences selling super-strength alcohol has been cited as a key reason behind a sharp drop in the number of people boozing and brawling in the streets of Ipswich.

Ipswich Magistrates Court in Elm Street.

A 60-year-old man is due to appear in court this morning charged with three driving offences.

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages