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Spate of distraction thefts prompts police warning

Stratford Editorial 21st Mar, 2016 Updated: 28th Oct, 2016

POLICE are urging people to be on their guard when using bank cards.

The warning comes following a spate of distraction thefts across the county where a thief watches a person using cash machines or a chip-and-pin machine and then distracts them to steal their card.

Officers say people should keep an eye out for ‘shoulder surfing’ in shopping queues, which involves potential thieves observing people entering their pin and taking their card afterwards.

Police are also reminding people to look out for others – particularly those who are elderly – when they are in a supermarket and car parks as they are more vulnerable.

Det Sgt Wayne White said: “We are currently investigating a number of reports of distraction thefts where elderly victims are being targeted.

“We ask the public to remain vigilant and to ensure pin numbers are entered securely.”

Anyone who has information or believes they have been a victim of a distraction theft is asked to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Visit for further advice.

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