Police issue pictures in connection with Suffolk cash machine card thefts
Police have issued CCTV images of a man and woman they want to speak to after several distraction thefts at cash machines in Suffolk.
Police are also warning shoppers to be vigilant after a series of thefts of bank cards at cash machines across the county.
They began in Market Place, Stowmarket, in early March, then Cornhill, Bury St Edmunds on April 17; Church Street, Woodbridge and Princes Street, Ipswich on May 14 and again in Princes Street on Saturday May 16.
In the most recent incident, a woman made a transaction but then dropped her bank card, which a passer-by picked up but returned a stolen card. The switch was not discovered until after a number of transactions had taken place.
Two days earlier in the same bank, a shopper had been distracted by a man asking if he had dropped a bank note as he was using the ATM; again the card was switched for a stolen card.
Officers are also linking these to another incident on Monday February 2 in Bramford Lane, Ipswich, where the victim had her purse stolen when asked for directions. It is believed this happened after the suspect had watched her make a purchase in a nearby supermarket.
Anyone who believes they recognise the people in the pictures, or who has information relating to these incidents, is asked to contact Suffolk Police’s Investigations Management Unit on 101, quoting reference BU/15/1187.
Police urge the public to be vigilant if they notice any suspicious activity in banks and at cash machines and card payment devices and should alert staff and police as soon as possible.
They say that when using your cards you should be aware of who is around you and make sure people stay a good distance away from you.
Do not let anyone distract you while you are using the cash machine or making a card payment and cancel the transaction if you are worried.
Use your hand, purse, wallet or other object to cover the keypad when entering your PIN.
Put your money and cards away quickly.
Check your statements regularly to ensure that there is no fraudulent usage.
They say it is always good practise to keep your purse or wallet out of sight in a zipped bag, preferably across your body. Always check your bag immediately if someone bumps into you.