Elderly woman loses £200 in Crowborough distraction theft

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Police are advising people to take extra care when using their debit or credit cards after two men distracted a 90-year-old woman and then stole money from her account.

The victim was leaving Morrisons in Pine Grove, Crowborough, at about midday on February 17 when she was approached by a man who put a map in front of her and asked her for directions.

After a short time, another man appeared and asked the first man to come away.

The woman then found that her purse, containing cash and her debit card, was missing.

She went to her bank to report the incident but more than £200 had already been withdrawn from her account.

The man with the map had tanned skin, was slim and about 40 with black hair.

He was wearing a black leather jacket and black trousers.

The second man was also dressed in black.

Sergeant Mike Keeler said: “Incidents similar to this have happened right across the country so I would urge everyone to be extremely vigilant when shopping and to shield the keypad when paying for goods by card.

“The victim in this incident was watched as she entered her PIN and then stopped outside the store, where she was distracted while her purse was stolen.

“The men are described as having foreign accents and were very persistent.

“Please be careful when you are shopping and tell us immediately if you experience anything similar to this.”

Anyone with information should email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk quoting serial 936 of 17/02, call 101 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.