Thieves target woman in supermarket car park with hospital directions scam

January 28 2020
Thieves target woman in supermarket car park with hospital directions scam

POLICE want to trace these two men after a woman had her purse stolen in the car park of Tesco in Staple Hill.

The woman, who is in her 60s, told police she felt she was being watched when paying for her shopping at the store in Broad Street.

At her car she was approached by a man who asked for directions to Cossham Hospital. A second man stole her purse, containing her credit cards, driving licence and cash, from the vehicle while she was distracted.

The cards were later used to withdraw cash and pay for goods.

Avon and Somerset police yesterday released CCTV pictures of two people they want to question about the theft, which happened on November 20 at around 11am.

Police say they were white, aged 25-35 and had Eastern European accents.

The man who approached the victim was about 5ft 6in tall, with black hair. He was wearing a grey top and jeans.

The second man had dark, short hair and facial hair. He was wearing a navy or dark puffer jacket, dark jeans and grey boots.

Investigator Hannah Gordon said: “This is a particularly nasty crime, targeting and preying on people’s good nature and wanting to help.

This is a common tactic where men, generally, target women on their own within the store. They then film or watch them enter their PIN number, before preying on them in the car park to ask for directions with a map or notepad.”

Some of the contents of the purse were found dumped in a hedge in Kingswood on January 16, but the purse itself has not been found.

Anyone who thinks they know the men involved should call 101 and quote the crime reference number 5219 268 675.

Information can also be given anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Police are advising anyone worried about their PIN being found out to contact their bank immediately and get it changed.