Neighbourhood Watch: Supermarket Car Parks – Latest

Supermarket Car Parks – Thefts from Customers

Dear Watch Member,

Two thefts in supermarket car parks in different parts of the county were reported yesterday.  This is part of an ongoing trend of thefts of handbags and wallets taking place in local supermarket car parks throughout the county.  Circumstances vary, but always involve a customer being approached in the car park by a stranger, who distracts them by asking a question or asking them to look at something.

A typical scenario is where a customer is putting their shopping into their vehicle.  A stranger approaches and distracts them by pointing out a concern in relation to their car.  While they are distracted by looking at the potential car problem, an accomplice grabs their unattended handbag.

A similar scenario is where a stranger approaches the customer and asks for directions.  Again, while the customer is focusing on giving directions, their property is stolen.

In most cases, the victim’s cash is stolen and their cards are used quickly at a nearby location.  In some cases, the thief has watched the victim entering their PIN number while paying for their shopping.

Although residents of different age groups have been targeted, we have received most reports where the victims have been senior residents.

Protect Your Money

Please be alert to this crime type and share this alert with neighbours and relatives.

When loading shopping into your vehicle, be conscious about where your handbag or other valuables are.  Place them out of reach of passers-by and don’t leave them unattended, even for a moment.

Should a stranger approach you with a question, finish loading your shopping and lock your valuables into your vehicle before speaking with them.

Please use your hand as a shield while entering your PIN number when shopping or at cash points.