Police are issuing CCTV images of two men they would like to speak to in connection with two thefts in October.
The first incident took place at approximately 1pm on Wednesday 12 October at a supermarket carpark on Goddard Road, Ipswich; the second at the North Quay Retail carpark in Lowestoft on Friday 14 October at approximately 12:20pm.
In both instances, the victims were approached by a man asking for directions and it’s thought a second man has then stolen their purses whilst they had been distracted. Money was subsequently withdrawn from both victims’ bank accounts.
The first man is described as white, between 5ft 10ins and 6ft tall, and in his late 30’s. He is of medium to stocky build, has dark hair and spoke with the foreign accent.
The second man is also described as in his late 30’s with light, brown hair. He is slightly shorter and of smaller build to the first man.
Do you recognise either of these men shown on the attached images?
There are a number of ways criminals will try to distract you in a car park in order to steal your bank cards or money.
When the shopper returns to the car park with their shopping, an offender distracts them, tells them one of their tyres has been punctured and shows them a nail sticking out of it.
An offender will distract the victim by informing them they have dropped some money
The offender, carrying a map, asks for directions. The map is opened right out, giving cover to an accomplice to approach the car unseen.
In each of these methods the victim is distracted which allows the offender’s accomplice access to the car to steal property such as a handbag or purse or to pickpocket the victim.
It is believed the offender or accomplice will have been standing close to the shopper as they pay for their goods in the store using their bank card – enabling them to see the PIN number for the card.
In order to reduce the chances of becoming a target for this scam:
- Always cover the number pad when entering your PIN when purchasing goods or when withdrawing money from a cash point.
- Be aware if there is someone standing close to you in the payment queue, or if there is someone at the other end of payment aisle who appears to be waiting for someone.
- If you place your handbag inside your car while you put your shopping in the boot make sure it is not easily reachable – for example place it on to the back seat with the doors locked.
Anyone with information, or who knows the identity of the two men, is urged to contact Lowestoft Neighbourhood Response Team on 101 quoting reference 60874/16.