Police are appealing for a witness to come forward following a distraction theft in Northwich.
At around 3pm on Saturday 25 May a woman in her 60s parked her car in the Memorial Car Park and was approached by a man who asked for directions to Birmingham. He got out a map to shield a second man from view who entered the car and took her bank card.
It wasn’t until she went to pay for something at another shop, she realised her card had been stolen. In the meantime they had used the card at various locations.
PC Katharine Thomas said: “The victim had been to a supermarket before parking up at the Memorial Car Park to go shopping and was targeted by these men, who may have spotted her at the supermarket where its likely they watched her keying in her pin code when she paid for her shopping at the till. A witness told the victim that three men were involved and had left the area in a silver car.
“I’m keen to speak to the witness to see if they have more information that may help us find those responsible to prevent the suspects from committing further crimes in our community.
“I’d also like to speak to anybody who saw three men acting suspiciously in the area at the time.”
There are some prevention tips you can take on board to help protect yourself from distraction theft:
1. Do not leave your handbag hanging over the shopping trolley or unattended at any time. Make sure your bag has a secure zip fastening and for added security, secure your purse inside a zipped pocket inside the bag to help protect against thieves reaching inside your bag or purse to search for valuables.
2. If you are approached by a stranger in unusual circumstances in or around a supermarket or car park, do not engage with them, particularly if they ask for directions or change. Be firm with them, walk away, and report any suspicious activity to the police
3. When using a chip & pin device or ATM, always shield your number with your hand. Avoid using cash machines that appear to have been tampered with, or where groups of people are hanging around.
If you have any information on the Northwich distraction theft, please call 101 quoting IML410845. Alternatively information can be given anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Please be vigilant and report suspicious activity to police by calling 101.