max temp: 7°C

min temp: 3°C


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.


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.



  • 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


    Wednesday, April 16, 2014

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

Undated handout photo issued by ITV of Kieron Dyer who has been revealed as one of the contestants for I'm A Celebrity ... Get Me Out Of Here! 2015. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Tuesday November 10, 2015. Also among the 10-strong line-up is Diana Princess of Wales biographer Lady Colin Campbell, fashion guru Susannah Constantine, Spandau Ballet's Tony Hadley, TV personality Yvette Fielding, X Factor choreographer Brian Friedman and Union J's George Shelley. See PA story SHOWBIZ Celebrity. Photo credit should read: ITV/PA Wire

NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Kieron Dyer was given a rare night of luxury after winning a stay at the Jungle Boutique Hotel, but tensions are running high in the I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here camp.

East Anglian Air Ambulance

The A134 at Assington is closed in both directions due to a serious single-vehicle crash.

Humber Doucy Lane, Ipswich.

A couple aged in their 70s were injured during a robbery at an Ipswich home.

Izzy Alder

An 18-year-old woman who failed to arrive at school today has been found.

The Lighthouse project in Ipswich is celebrating its 40th anniversary.Ali Jordan and Ursula Burrows in a meeting.

There is a collage on the wall of messages from women who have been helped by Lighthouse Women’s Aid in Ipswich, formerly known as Ipswich Women’s Aid.

The police investigation centre in Martlesham.

One woman was taken to hospital and 20 other people into police custody today after they were discovered in a lorry container.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne leaves the Treasury in London for the House of Commons, where Osborne will deliver his Autumn Statement. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Wednesday December 3, 2014. See PA story BUDGET Main. Photo credit should read: Hannah McKay/PA Wire

Chancellor George Osborne will declare a crisis in home ownership as he unveils a raft of measures he claims will see 400,000 new homes built across England.

Government cuts could make the regular inspection of our waterways harder

This Government has been very keen to talk up its “difficult choices”.

Abellio Greater Anglia has warned that the services are expected to be disrupted until 7pm.

Trains between Norwich and London Liverpool Street may be delayed by up to 40 minutes.

Christmas shoppers at Tower Ramparts - soon to become Sailmakers

When are your favourite Suffolk stores open in the days before Christmas, over the bank holidays and during the New Year period?

Most read

Most commented

Topic pages

Local business directory

Suffolk's trusted business finder

Property search

e.g. Oxford or NW3
Powered by Zoopla

Digital Edition

Read the Ipswich Star e-edition today E-edition

Great British Life

Great British Life
MyDate24 MyPhotos24