Elderly driver victim of distraction theft in Sainsbury’s car park

Officers investigating a series of distraction thefts in Cheshire East are urging members of the public to remain vigilant.

On Tuesday 23 April, four separate incidents were reported to Cheshire Police, in which elderly residents had been distracted when using their bank cards and had quantities of money stolen from their accounts.

The first occurred at around 11am on Tuesday 23 April at Princess Street car park, Knutsford.

The second and third incidents both occurred at around 12.30pm that day in Macclesfield, one at Tesco Exchange Street car park, and one at Churchill Way car park.

The third incident took place at Sainsbury's car park in Alderley Road, Wilmslow, at around 2pm.

The incidents involved an unknown man pretending to help people with card transactions at an ATM, or by posing as a traffic warden and saying he would help the individuals purchase a parking ticket; this involved him taking the victims' bank card.

PC Matthew Cox said "Enquiries are currently ongoing into this series of distraction thefts and we would like to reassure the public that we are doing everything we can to trace those responsible.

"Please be vigilant when using ATM machines and pay close attention to your surroundings.

"Don't be distracted by people trying to talk to you or touch you, and report any suspicious activity to a member of staff wherever you are using the machine.

"If at any point you feel uncomfortable, cancel the transaction.

"Similarly, traffic wardens will never ask you to pay them directly for parking tickets or fines.

"Official local authority parking enforcement officers will have identification which you can check to make sure they are genuine.

"Further crime prevention advice, including how to keep yourself safe when out and about, is available on the Cheshire Police website.

"Remember to report any incidents of this nature to Cheshire Police through our website, by calling 101, or by calling 999 in an emergency.

"If anyone has any information in relation to the recent incidents in Cheshire East, please quote 24000379533."