Thieves use 'sick puppy' con to steal £800 from woman in supermarket car park

The Morrisons Hadleigh store

The Morrisons Hadleigh store - Credit: Archant

A Hadleigh woman had £800 stolen from her bank after thieves posing as the owners of a sick puppy pickpocketed her in a supermarket car park.

The incident happened in the Morrisons car park in Boswell Lane at 1.25pm Tuesday (February 16), after shopper Gillian Thomas was returning to her car.

A man approached her asking for directions to the nearest vet as his puppy had been taken ill – while another member of his group then stole from her handbag inside her car.

No less than 40 minutes later, she had been notified by her bank's fraud team that £800 had been withdrawn from her account at a cashpoint outside the Sainsbury's supermarket in Hadleigh Road, Ipswich. They had also attempted to withdraw a further £800.

Mrs Thomas, who is in her 60s, said she was shocked by the audacity of the thieves.

She said: "It is just absolutely appalling, you try to be the Good Samaritan and then they go and take stuff out of your handbag.

"They must have had some form of card reader, as they didn't have my pin. They are definitely organised.

Most Read

"They said they didn't know the area and didn't speak English very well, they asked for a doctor to help their puppy. He then asked me to draw a map, which kept me occupied for even longer."

The car park theft is one of numerous incidents to have been reported in recent years, with victims including a woman in her 80s.

Mrs Thomas added: "I know these sorts of things go on, especially in places like London, but when it's happening in places locally it really is quite distressing.

"I just want to make other people who are out shopping aware – if you are approached by a stranger, be careful."

Thankfully, Mrs Thomas' money was returned by her bank, and police are trying to source CCTV images from the cash machines outside the Ipswich supermarket.

She also thanked the staff at Morrisons for their support.

The man who distracted her is described as an olive-skinned man, around 5ft 8in tall and of an average build. He had thick, brown hair and brown eyes and wore all black clothing and a blue medical mask.

Those with information that could aid Suffolk police should contact them on 101, quoting reference  37/8147/21.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter