Supermarket shoppers in Wakefield are being targeted by a suspected ring of criminals who steal bank cards after using distraction tactics on people to get their PIN numbers.
Police in Wakefield have just released new CCTV images of two men they want to speak to in connection with one incident last month.
It happened on Monday, November 2, at the Aldi store in Durkar, where a 69-year-old woman was paying for her shopping using the chip and pin device.
Once in the car park, the victim was then approached by an uknown man asking for directions, distracting her.
It later emerged that the victim’s bank card had been stolen from her handbag and then used to make a number of unauthorised purchases.
The images released follow a number of similar offences at the Morrisons supermarket in Dewsbury Road, Wakefield; the Asda store in Asdale Road, Durkar and Lidl in Kingsway, Ossett.
Police now believe there are a number of criminals working together to carry out the thefts.
The scam works with one suspect initially spying on their victim inputting their PIN at the till.
Two accomplices then work together in the car park, or elsewhere outside the store, by one distracting the victim while the other steals the bank card.
Detective Constable Nick Horn said: “We have had a number of offences reported to us and are reviewing the similar methods used and similarities in the descriptions of the people involved.
“These individuals are playing on people’s helpful nature by stopping them and asking for directions, all the while distracting the victim sufficiently to allow their accomplice to take their bank card unnoticed.
“We would urge members of the public to be cautious and to also make others aware of these offences.
“You can protect your PIN by covering the display while entering your details and we would suggest putting your wallet or purse out of view when leaving with your shopping.
“If anyone experiences any suspicious behaviour they are urged to report it to store staff immediately so that it can be properly investigated.”
Anyone who can identify the people in the CCTV or who has any information is asked to contact Wakefield CID via 101, or alternatively by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.