Tesco theft: Motorist tricked by criminals asking for directions

PUBLISHED: 18:21 12 April 2010 | UPDATED: 07:36 30 May 2010

A SHOPPER had £1500 stolen from her credit cards after falling victim to a distraction burglary in a Tesco car park. Thinking she was being helpful, the woman, who has not been named by police, stopped her car to give directions to a man and subsequently

A SHOPPER had £1500 stolen from her credit cards after falling victim to a distraction burglary in a Tesco car park.

Thinking she was being helpful, the woman, who has not been named by police, stopped her car to give directions to a man and subsequently had her credit cards stolen from her purse which was lying on the front seat.

The theft happened at the Great Dunmow superstore at around 11.30am on Saturday morning (April 10) and disturbingly seems to have been well planned.

According to police, one of the thieves used his silver Mercedes car to block the woman motorist in before getting out and asking for directions to Enfield Hospital.

Whilst the woman was distracted, a second person reached in through the open car window and took the credit cards. Subsequently £1500 was withdrawn.

Police have urgently asked for information as this crime is very similar to many others in the area, including an exact theft in the same car park only a month ago.

Insp Mick Pitcher said: "Thefts using this precise modus operandi are rare. However, I would ask members of the public to be aware of this criminal technique, and to keep their valuables, such as bags and purses, safe and secure when they are in busy car parks, perhaps parking their car or unloading their shopping.

"Police also suspect that the criminals may be watching people using ATMs, to try to read their PIN numbers as they type them in. So, I would also ask members of the public to be aware and alert when withdrawing cash from a cash machine. Try and make sure that your PIN number is kept private when entering it into the keypad and be swift to remove both the card and the money when they are returned to you."

CAN you help catch the crooks?

The man who spoke to the motorist was:

White with a dark complexion

Aged around 25 years old

Had very dark short black hair

Wore a black leather jacket

Spoke with a foreign accent

Call Dunmow police station on 0300 333 4444

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