Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 2°C

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

Northgate High School GV.

A former teacher at an Ipswich secondary school is to appear in court charged with alleged sex offences involving teenage girls.

Dress rehearsal of Cabaret at Farlingaye High school. Harry Longbottom and Verity Poulston as Cliff and Sally.

Fifty years since it first hit the stage, this boundary-pushing musical is still worth making a song and dance about. The cast of Cabaret are saying ‘willkommen, bienvenue, welcome’ to Farlingaye High School, Woodbridge, this week.

Leiston Middle School pancake races in February 1978. Do you recognise anyone?

Today as we mark Shrove Tuesday and the last day before Lent, we have dug into our archives of pancake day photos.

Police are investigating

A community first responder was assaulted in Felixstowe last night.

Share your pancake photos with us

Live news feed bringing you the latest headlines, sports stories and opinion from across Suffolk and north Essex.

Man admits child and extreme porn charges

A 32-year-old Leiston man could be facing a prison sentence after admitting possessing pornography involving children and animals.

Lyndsey Hessey (centre) with Ipswich Hospital staff for last year's Easter egg collection

A charitable Kesgrave woman is hoping to put a smile on the faces of patients at Ipswich Hospital this Easter as she launches her drive for chocolate eggs.

Colin Noble and Christopher Hudson outside Endeavour House.

The deputy leader of Suffolk County Council is today facing claims that he was heard using offensive language to describe senior colleagues at the authority.

GV - Ipswich Crown Court

The jury in the trial of an Ipswich woman accused of helping herself to £27,000 of her 25-year-old son’s money while he was in a care home is expected to continue its deliberations today.

Shadow cabinet minister Jonathan Ashworth visiting Ipswich to see the work on boosting the Princes Street area, Ipswich. Left to right, Jonathan Ashworth,  Councillor David Ellesmere.

Shadow cabinet minister Jonathan Ashworth has visited Ipswich to see the town’s growing business area – and the new home of Archant’s Suffolk titles.

Most read

Most commented

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Streetlife

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24