Hampshire Police are investigating a number of incidents where shoppers have been distracted in supermarket car parks so bank cards and personal items can be stolen from their cars.
The offender and an accomplice use different methods to distract the victim, including asking for directions, telling the victim they have a nail in their tyre and asking if people have dropped money.
The stolen cards are then used to withdraw money or buy items, often before the victim realises.
Crime prevention advisor Graeme Barbour said, "These people are knowingly preying on people's goodwill and helpful nature and are intentionally targeting lone shoppers at supermarkets, causing a distraction which allows another member of the group to commit the theft."
Tips to keep your items safe:
- Never leave your bag on the trolley unattended and always ensure your bag is zipped up
- When putting your shopping in the boot of your vehicle, always ensure your bag/wallet is with you
- If asked for directions or to look at maps/items etc, ensure you lock personal items in the vehicle first
- When filling up with fuel, lock your vehicle when re-fuelling and when you go to pay
- If you are approached by anyone suspicious, report it to the Police as soon as possible.