Driver has money taken in Lewes distraction theft

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Police have issued another warning after a further distraction theft at a supermarket car park in Lewes this morning (Wednesday February 5).

At about 10.15am at Tesco car park a female driver was approached by a woman described as in her mid 30s, 5ft 2in in height with long chestnut hair, long finger nails and speaking with an eastern European accent.

The driver was told there was a nail in her tyre and that she should get out of her car and check it, which she did.

When the lady went to the garage to have her tyres checked she discovered her bank cards were missing.

On checking with her bank money had been withdrawn at 10.30am.

If you have any information please call police on 101 and quote incident number 584 of 05/02.

Similar distraction thefts have taken place in Eastbourne, Hailsham, Newhaven and Seaford.

Techniques used include claiming the victim has a nail in their car tyre, asking for directions, or asking if people have dropped money.

Police said when helping others in public places take sensible precautions.

Never leave your bag on a shopping trolley unattended, and ensure the bag is zipped up.

When putting shopping away in the boot of your vehicle always keep your handbag/wallet with you

If you are distracted for even a moment whilst putting shopping away - keep handbags with you or lock them in the vehicle before speaking to or helping anyone

If asked for directions or to look at maps/items – ensure you lock personal items in the vehicle first

When filling up with fuel, lock your vehicle while fuelling, and when you go to pay.

If your bag has a zip or other fastener, use it, Do not leave purses/wallets on view.

Once you have assisted someone, take a quick look in your bag afterwards to ensure your purse/wallet/cards are still there and undisturbed. If not, call your bank/ card companies immediately and the Police as soon as possible.

If you are approached by anyone suspicious, report it to the police as soon as possible.

Thieves know all the tricks, and all the hiding places. They know where to look - it takes them seconds to relieve you of your goods, money, possessions, bags.

Please be aware of suspicious groups of people hanging around car parks who don’t appear to be shopping, or otherwise appear out of place. Report them.

If you believe you saw or heard anything related to these type of incidents or have seen anything suspicious please call Sussex Police on 101 or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If possible record descriptions of any person/ persons or vehicle (including, make model, colour and index numbers).