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Police release video of north Hampshire car park con
1:44pm Tuesday 3rd September 2013 in News
POLICE officers from Hampshire Constabulary have released this CCTV footage of a supermarket distraction scam to highlight the danger to shoppers.
The officers are investigating 55 incidents in shopping centre car parks where shoppers have been duped by people asking for directions and showing a map.
The footage shows how the offender distracts the shopper to allow an accomplice to enter the victim’s vehicle and steal from her bags.
The stolen cards are then used to withdraw money or buy high value items. Often this occurs before the victim has even realised their personal property has been taken.
Other tricks have been used to distract shoppers, including asking for directions, asking if people have dropped money or saying someone needs to go to hospital.
So, far police have received 55 reports of this type of crime from across the Northern Policing Area which includes Basingstoke and Hart.
Crime prevention advisor Graeme Barbour said: “People who have fallen victim to this type of crime have also reported seeing people behaving suspiciously in supermarkets. This could be where offenders are watching shoppers entering PIN codes when paying for their shopping.
“If you notice people acting suspiciously inside supermarkets or you are approached by someone in a car park, please report it to police as soon as possible.
“These people are knowingly preying on people’s goodwill and helpful nature and are intentionally targeting lone shoppers at supermarkets, causing a distraction which allows another member of the group to commit the theft.
“If you are approached in this way, please act cautiously. Not everyone asking for directions is a criminal, and if you choose to help it is your decision to do so. Before you help please ensure your vehicle is locked and all your valuables are on your person or locked in your vehicle out of sight.”
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