A BRAZEN woman was being hunted by police today after she snatched thousands of pounds from inside a Hampshire bank while a customer’s back was turned.
A city-wide hunt was under way for the thief who struck as the owner spoke to staff at a Southampton branch of Barclays and made off with at least £5,000.
Staff at the Shirley Road bank raised the alarm following the incident which happened at lunchtime yesterday while the area was busy with shoppers.
Victim Salaur Rahman, 42, was just metres away from the bundles of cash which he had placed in a Cash Converters carrier bag on a chair while he spoke to staff at the desk.
He claims as much as £10,000 could be in the bag because he had withdrawn £15,000 in total and had removed some of the money from the bag shortly before it was taken.
Mr Rahman told the Daily Echo how he had made the large cash withdrawal because he was about to buy a new car.
The leftover money was going to be given to his solicitor as part of a deposit for a house.
He told police how he left the bank after withdrawing the cash, but had returned a short time later with a query, which is when the theft occurred.
Mr Rahman, below, who is semi retired, said: “I was just at the counter and the bag was on the chair right behind me, but when I turned around it was gone.
“I couldn’t believe it. I was just talking to the manageress at the counter and going through the bundles I had in my hand.
“I was going to use that money to buy a new car and now it’s gone. I’m in total shock.
“There were plenty of customers in the bank but I don’t know if anyone saw who took it.”
Hampshire police said the theft happened around 12.40pm and they are now appealing for witnesses to come forward.
The woman they are hunting is described as slim, in her 20s, with blonde hair which was in a ponytail. She was wearing black threequarter- length trousers, a black vest and blue trainers.
Barclays declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.
Anyone with information about the theft should contact Shirley police station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.