Shoppers urged to be on the lookout after thieves target pensioners at supermarket (From Bournemouth Echo)
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Shoppers urged to be on the lookout after thieves target pensioners at supermarket
1:00pm Thursday 19th September 2013 in News
POLICE are urging elderly shoppers to be vigilant after two pensioners were targeted by thieves on the same day.
The distraction thefts happened after the elderly women had shopped at two Morrisons stores in Dorset on Saturday September 7.
Officers believe the thieves watched the women enter their PIN numbers at the till before stealing their cards and using them immediately afterwards.
The first incident happened between 10.45am and 11am in the car park at the Verwood branch of the supermarket on Chiltern Drive.
The 75-year-old victim, from Verwood, had finished her shopping and was walking home when she was approached by two men carrying an atlas. They claimed they were from Spain and Italy and were seeking directions to a hospital. They stole her bank card and used it seven minutes later.
The second incident happened between 1.30pm and 1.40pm in Blandford when a 71-year-old woman was approached by a man who asked her for directions to a hospital.
The woman, from Charlton Marshall, had finished shopping at Morrisons in West Street and had put her bags on the back seat of her car. While the woman drew directions the offender stole a wallet containing her bank cards. A number of transactions were then made.
Verwood and Ferndown Safer Neighbourhood Sgt Nikki Loftus said police are linking both incidents.
She added: “These offenders seem to be targeting elderly ladies. We would like to remind people to be vigilant. Please be aware that if someone approaches you asking for directions, claiming they have an ill relative they may not be genuine. Keep your bags closed and close to you.”
Witnesses and anyone with information are asked to call Dorset Police on 101 quoting incident number 07:183 for the Verwood incident and 07:322 for the Blandford incident. Calls can also be made to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
* VERWOOD councillor Spencer Flower is calling on residents to remain vigilant following these distraction thefts.
“It is a pretty safe place here in Verwood and it’s disturbing to know that sort of thing is going on.
“It is down to the public to be extra vigilant and maybe these people will realise that we are not a soft touch.”
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