Police in Suffolk are warning shoppers to be alert after a number of distraction type thefts across the county and in Norfolk.
On Monday (February 17), Suffolk Police made an appeal to trace a man described as white, possibly in his 30s, of slim build, around 5 ft 10 in tall, with a full head of slightly curly hair, who was polite and spoke with a foreign accent – following an incident in the car park of the Tesco store at Anson Road on Thursday (February 13).
An 80-year-old woman parked her car around 6.30pm and went into the store to do her shopping.
After this was completed she returned to the vehicle and opened the boot while she loaded shopping from her trolley.
Seconds later the man approached her and engaged her in conversation, saying there was a nail in one of her car tyres.
The lady then realised the door of her vehicle was open, which it shouldn’t have been, and went to take a look, while the man remained near the boot of the vehicle.
The woman returned to the boot and the man was standing with a nail in his hand, saying it was now okay, and he left.
The woman later discovered bank cards had been taken from her purse that had been in the boot.
Norfolk Police have also issued an appeal after a similar distraction theft at a supermarket in Diss on Friday (February 14) and a possible attempt at a supermarket car park in Wymondham and these are among the most recent reported to police following incidents in the past few weeks..
In Suffolk there was also a theft between midday and 1pm on February 7 in the Co-Op store car park at Hamilton Road in Felixstowe.
Here a smartly dressed man and woman targeted a woman in her early 80s.
The victim had put her purse on the top of one of her shopping bags and was loading the bags into the boot of her car when the man and woman approached and asked for help.
The man held a map, got very close to her and was pointing at various points and the woman he was with spoke to him in a foreign language.
Later the victim noticed her purse was missing and it’s thought this was also a distraction theft from the vehicle.
The man is described as in his mid 20s to mid 30s, with dark brown short and wavy hair, of medium build, around 5 ft 7 ins tall and was wearing a navy blue suit, while the woman is described as being attractive, around 5ft 8ins tall, of slim build with dark brown shoulder length wavy hair, with dark eyes and a dark or tanned complexion.
She was wearing a long beige coloured coat and distinctive beige coloured brimmed hat.
It is thought a third man may have also been with these two.
Did you see the incident or do you have any information about them?
Anyone who can help is asked to call PC Natalie Howard at Felixstowe on 101.
In view of these recent incidents police are asking shoppers to be vigilant and for you to make any older friends, neighbours or relatives aware of these distraction ploys.
Please keep a close eye on your purse, wallet, handbag, etc, and always be careful when entering your PIN number at cashpoints or at store checkouts so that no one can see what numbers you are putting in.
If you are approached, or see something, and suspect a crime may be in progress please alert police using 999.
For all the latest news see Thursday’s (February 27) Echo.