A TEENAGER has told of his anger after losing hundreds of pounds in a cashpoint scam that led to a dramatic police search.
Michael Lock, 19, was using the cash machine at Lloyd’s bank in Cosham High Street when it appeared to have swallowed his card.
A short while later the stolen card was used to withdraw £300 from another cashpoint in the area, and was used to spend £63 in a Tesco store.
A 26-year-old woman was arrested in connection with the incident after officers were alerted to reports of two people acting suspiciously near the cashpoint machine.
She was later bailed.
However police launched a search for the man after he fled the scene of the incident, which happened shortly before 7.30pm on Wednesday.
It involved police dogs, a van and four police cars as well as firefighters from Cosham who were called out after dark to help search with a thermal camera in the North Harbour area and at the 1000 Lakeside complex.
Michael, who lives in Cosham, said: ‘The police told me they had [the suspect] and their dog had hold of him, but he managed to get away and jump into the water at the back of IBM.’
While he is in the process of getting his money back, Michael said he was upset by what happened.
‘Obviously it’s a bit gutting,’ he said. ‘You always hear about this sort of thing happening but you never think about it happening to you.
‘I asked the police if this had happened to anyone else and they said there was a high chance because this was probably not the first time the people involved had done this.
‘But really I think the people messed up, because the machine swallowed my card, and if it hadn’t have done that then I wouldn’t have known if any of the money in my account had been taken.
‘It’s put me off using cash machines for life, because there was nothing on the machine that made me feel suspicious about it.
Police have released a CCTV image of the suspect in the hope of tracking him down.
Anyone with information is asked to contact CID at Fratton station on 101 quoting crime reference number 44140196835.