Elderly woman targeted by Potters Bar distraction thieves
PUBLISHED: 12:17 23 February 2016 | UPDATED: 12:17 23 February 2016
Police are releasing CCTV images of three people they would like to speak with after an 81-year-old woman was the victim of a distraction theft in Potters Bar.
The incident happened at around 12.30pm on Sunday, February 21, in the car park of Tesco, Mutton Lane when the victim was approached by an offender whilst she loaded her shopping into her car.
The offender engaged her in conversation about some flowers she had bought and once the offender walked away the woman realised her purse had been taken from her shopping trolley which had been next to her.
Subsequently £250 was taken from her bank using her cards at an ATM.
PC Paul Francis is investigating and said: “Whilst the man was distracting the lady I believe other offender or offenders have removed her purse. I would like to speak with the three people pictured as they may be able to assist with my investigation.
“I would also like to remind members of the public to be vigilant about anyone acting in a suspicious manner around payment points and to protect your PIN when you use it.
“I would also ask people in Potters Bar to be cautious if you are approached in this manner. Whilst it is understandable that you may want to assist someone, there are people who use this method and other ways in order to carry out distraction thefts.”
Anyone who has any information which would assist the investigation is asked to contact the Herts Police non-emergency number 101 quoting crime reference number J3/16/199. Alternatively, you can contact the independent crime-fighting charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or through their Anonymous Online Form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org. No personal details are taken, information cannot be traced or recorded and you will never need to go to court.