Shoppers are being asked to be more vigilant following a series of thefts which are occurring across Swindon.

We are investigating a number of offences where some elderly or vulnerable women have been targeted by a what is believed to be a group of men in supermarket car parks.

In nearly all of the offences, they have watched the victim type in her PIN at either the ATM on site or at the checkout or self-serve till.
As the person loads the shopping in to her car she will be approached by one male who will ask for help as he or a family member is injured and he is looking for the nearest hospital or GP surgery.
He will usually encourage the female to move away from her car by having a knee/leg brace on and offer her his phone to put in the directions or name of the nearest hospital.
Whilst this is going on, a second man will enter the car and steal the bank cards. They will then use the cards almost immediately, draining the account as soon as they can.

These offences are being investigated by the Community Tasking Team in Swindon and we are urging people to be aware of their belongings and security when out and about.

Det Sgt Alex Spargo from the CTT said: “Victims may not have reported crimes such as these as they may feel foolish for having been taken in by such a ruse but these men appear very credible using medical props to assist in their deception.
“If you have been victim of a crime, like this, please contact us as soon as possible so that we can assist you with this.
“Likewise, I would ask the wider public to be vigilant to crimes such as this and always report suspicious activity.
“Remember, never leave your car unlocked, your handbag unattended and always be aware of your surroundings and those who may try to distract you from your everyday tasks.”
If you believe that you have been a victim of this type of crime, please report it via 101 quoting crime reference number 54190081957.

You can also call anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.