Crooks target Hampshire supermarkets for unsuspecting shoppers

Louis Makai. Picture: Sussex Police

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SHOPPERS are being warned to be vigilant after a spate of thefts at supermarket car parks.

People are being approached by groups or individuals using a variety of distraction techniques, police say.

The most common is people asking for directions – usually using a map.

Crooks have also been known to feign injury or illness and it is usually diabetes related.

Another distraction technique is people asking for change for parking.

Offenders then steal handbags and wallets and use people’s debit and credit cards to withdraw cash.

Reports of this type of crime have been received from across East Hampshire and Winchester.

Crime prevention adviser Graeme Barbour said: ‘People who have fallen victim to this type of crime have also reported seeing people behaving suspiciously in supermarkets if they have been using self-service tills.

‘This could be where offenders are watching shoppers entering pin codes when paying for their shopping.

‘If you notice people acting suspiciously inside supermarkets or you are approached by someone in a car park, please report it to police as soon as possible.’

Officers said to never leave bags on the shopping trolley unattended. Always ensure the bag is zipped up.

Call police with information on 101 if you can help.