Fraud victim, 81, ‘absolutely stunned’ after £5,000 Tesco distraction theft
PUBLISHED: 19:00 26 November 2019 | UPDATED: 08:48 27 November 2019
A distraught 81-year-old victim of card fraud said she can’t sleep at night after being targeted in a distraction theft in a Tesco car park.
The woman, who does not wish to be identified in the interests of her safety, was visiting the Tesco Extra in Martlesham alone for the first time in years when she was targeted by the brazened thieves.
After returning her trolley between 3.35pm and 4pm on Wednesday, November 13, she was approached by a man who needed directions to the hospital.
Little did she know, another suspect had then entered her unlocked car and stolen credit cards from her purse inside.
Her mistake would prove to cost her more than £5,000, after the thieves bought computer equipment from an electronics store in Chelmsford using her cards.
She said: "I didn't know anything had happened until I went to find my cards on Saturday.
"I checked my online banking and saw that just over £5,000 had been taken. I was absolutely stunned and in complete panic - it is so much money.
"I struggle to sleep at night now."
Almost two weeks after the incident, the woman said the incident is constantly on her mind and has knocked her confidence - to the extent she is scared of strangers in the street.
She said: "How awful is it that nowadays you can't help someone in the street because they might be a thief.
"You don't expect these sorts of things to happen in Suffolk - I'll be honest and saw I do not usually lock the door when I go shopping.
"I certainly will now."
The grandmother hopes she will get her money back from the banks, adding they have been supportive through her ordeal.
Suffolk police confirmed their enquiries are ongoing.
One of the suspects is described as white, of an average build and clean shaven. He is believed to be between 40 and 60 years old. There is no description of the person who stole the card.
The incident is one of many distraction thefts in the county this year, with thefts under similar circumstances being reported in Ipswich town centre in January and February. Three phones and a purse were reported as stolen by a man believed to be in his 20s.
Those with information regarding her ordeal should contact Suffolk police on 101, quoting reference 37/70214/19.
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