Couple who were victims of card theft shocked after bank suggests THEY took cash

Pat and Eddie Townsend had £600 stolen from their bank account after Pat's purse was stolen Picture:

Pat and Eddie Townsend had £600 stolen from their bank account after Pat's purse was stolen Picture: RACHEL EDGE - Credit: Archant

A married Essex couple who had £600 taken from their bank account after their cards were stolen were shocked when Santander suggested it was them who withdrew the cash.

Eddie and Pat Townsend, from Lawford, were shopping in the Highwoods Tesco supermarket in Colchester when Mrs Townsend, 75, realised her purse had been stolen.

She alerted a security guard and staff helped her contact Santander to make them aware of the situation.

But while they were in the supermarket £600 was being withdrawn from a cash point at Tesco Express in Magdalen Street – around 2.5 miles away.

Half of the cash – £300 – was stolen from Mrs Townsend’s account, while the remaining £300 was stolen from her 76-year-old husband’s.

Having reported the theft on June 16 to Santander moments after her purse had been stolen, Mr and Mrs Townsend thought the bank would reimburse their losses.

But they were shocked to get a letter saying the bank did not believe an unknown person would be able to get the pin and would only refund £50 of the cash.

Most Read

Mr Townsend also received a phone call where he said the bank suggested they left their pin number on a piece of paper in the purse – or that the couple had orchestrated the money to be taken themselves.

Mrs Townsend said: “Whether anyone was behind me when I last took out cash, I don’t know.

“I certainly don’t keep my pin number in my purse – I’m not stupid. I would never give my pin number to anybody. We couldn’t have taken it because we were on the phone to the bank in Tesco when the money was being taken out.

“It just made me feel sick when the letter came though, I felt ill having read it. That really shook us up.”

Since the East Anglian Daily Times contacted Santander for a response on the issue, the bank has decided to refund the money in full.

A spokesman claimed the bank had been speaking to the customers to understand how it happened.

“With this in mind, we are refunding the customers the £600,” he added.

“To avoid falling victim to fraud, we urge customers to keep all personal identification details and numbers safe and not to divulge them to anyone.”

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