POLICE hunting criminals who distracted two women in their 70s to steal their bank cards outside a Bournemouth supermarket have released CCTV images.

They are keen to speak to the man pictured after incidents at Tesco Extra in Riverside Avenue on the morning of Friday November 8.

It is thought offenders watched their victims entering PIN numbers at the checkout and stole hundreds of pounds.

At around 11am a woman was getting into her car when she was approached by two men and asked for directions to the hospital. One of the men also said her tyre had exploded and as the victim went to look she saw the other man standing on the other side of her car.

She later realised her purse had been stolen and discovered it had been used in two unsuccessful attempts to carry out withdrawals from cash machines in the area.

It is believed the theft is linked to a similar incident that occurred at the same location around an hour earlier where another woman was distracted by a man asking for directions and found her cards had been stolen.

Her cards were then used to carry out a number of transactions.

The victim, who does not wish to be named, said: “More than £1,000 was taken from my accounts within minutes of me leaving the supermarket. I want to warn other people to be careful.”

Police Community Support Investigator Mike Cannings, of Dorset Police, said: “In both these incidents it is believed the offender has watched the victims as they paid for items in an attempt to get their PIN.

“We are continuing to make enquiries to identify those responsible and I am issuing CCTV images of a man we would like to speak to as part of our investigation.

“I would also like to remind people to be vigilant when shopping and ensure your PIN is not visible to anyone else when you are paying for items.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Dorset Police on 101, quoting occurrence number 55190176429, or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.