Woman robbed in car park ‘accident’

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A woman has spoken of her shock after falling prey to an audacious theft in a busy town centre car park.

Melanie Amps, 43, thought she had run someone over as she reversed her car out of a bay in Waitrose car park in Bury St Edmunds on New Year’s Eve.

She got out to find a man on the ground while another man got into her car, removed a bank card from her purse and withdrew £280 from her bank account at a nearby cash point.

Police arrested one man but are appealing for witnesses to trace the other.

Mrs Amps, of Bury, is warning other women to be vigilant following the ‘surreal’ incident.

She said: “I thought I had run over a child because there was a thud and a body on the floor.

“I started shouting ‘can I have some help?’. While that was happening another voice shouted ‘you’re being robbed’.

“I think they targeted me because I was a woman on my own.”

Mrs Amps, who is a nurse at West Suffolk Hospital, thanked those in the car park who helped her.

A spokeswoman for Suffolk Police confirmed the person who ran off was a male wearing a grey woolly hat, a blueish Parker jacket with diamond patterns and was unshaven.

Anyone with information should contact PC Philip Scarfe on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

n Leonard-Marius Constantin, of Macaulay Road, London, appeared at Ipswich Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday when he admitted two counts of theft.

For the offence in Bury, he was jailed for 12 weeks suspended for 12 months and was ordered to carry out 40 hours’ unpaid work and 12 months’ supervision. The other charge related to theft of a bank card and cash in Newmarket on December 31 for which he was jailed for 12 weeks suspended for 12 months to run consecutive to the previous offence.