Three credit cards stolen from pensioner in distraction theft outside Morrisons in Yate
A PENSIONER who ‘would have helped anyone’ says she will no longer stop to give someone directions after she was left £1,000 out of pocket in a daylight distraction theft.
The 78-year-old woman, who did not want to be named, had just finished shopping in Morrisons in Yate at around 1.30pm on Friday, August 2.
On reaching her car, she unloaded her shopping all the while carrying her handbag on her shoulder such was her fear of having it stolen.
“I got in the car and started the car when someone started knocking on the window,” said the victim, herself from Yate.
“It was a woman standing there with a pen and paper and a map. She was very agitated and kept saying ‘hospital, insulin’ over and over.
“I tried to explain she needed the minor injuries unit in the shopping centre, not a street name, and I tried to help show her where it was.”
The woman, described as in her 40s, of slight build who spoke with a European accent, took a phone call in which she did not speak but suddenly left the scene and was seen departing the car park with a man and child.
Unaware she had been duped, the victim returned home and it was not until Barclaycard’s anti-fraud team called to question suspicious amounts being spent on her card at nearby Asda in Longwell Green that she realised what had happened.
“Three credit cards had been taken although they my purse back, presumably so I wouldn’t notice straight away,” she said. “About £1,000 was split across the cards. I wouldn’t have known anything about it until I went to use it the next time if it wasn’t for Barclaycard phoning up.”
She added: “I think it was gang and the phone call was signal they had what they wanted.
“I am not generally a gullible person, I always keep my handbag on me even when I’m returning my trolley, and this seemed legitimate. So it hasn’t made me feel very good.
“It will change my personality. I would have done anything to help anybody but in the future if anybody asks me the time I won’t help them.”
Neighbourhood Inspector Andy Workman said: "I'm very sorry to hear this lady has been so sadly affected by this incident.
“I understand that thankfully she has had the money reimbursed by her card company. We have had this sort of distraction theft reported before - in fact a man was arrested and jailed for similar offences in Yate in 2010 - but this is the only incident we've had reported recently.
"My advice, should anyone approach you with a map in this way, would be to lock your car and direct them to ask for help at the supermarket security desk.
"I'd ask anyone who was in Morrisons, Yate, at about 1.30pm on Friday August 2, or who has any information which could help our enquiries to get in touch. You can give us a ring on 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111. They never ask your name or trace your call."
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