SHOPPERS are being warned to look out for a gang of bank card snatchers prowling West Yorkshire’s supermarkets.
In the last six weeks West Yorkshire Police have recorded six separate incidents involving what is thought to have been the same gang of East Europeans.
Sgt Andrew Emmett, who is investigating, said: “These suspects have a very specific method of targeting their victims and it’s about recognising the signs and responding accordingly to prevent yourself becoming one of their targets.”
The gang includes a woman and in each incident the victim has been a lone, middle-aged woman.
They loiter near the tills to make a note of the victim’s pin number, then follow them to their car.
Sgt Emmett added: “At this point an accomplice will drive a car and park behind the victim’s vehicle, effectively blocking them in, before getting out and asking the victim for directions to a place nearby, often using a map as a further method of distraction.
“While the victim is engaged with one of the suspects an accomplice will remove cards from the victim’s purse, which is often left on the passenger seat.”
Incidents have been reported in Heckmondwike, as well as Leeds and Knottingley.
The gang is thought to have used a dark purple-coloured Vauxhall Vectra with the registration plate WV51 AZF.
Sgt Emmett said: “Always be mindful of anyone close to you when you’re entering your pin number.”
Anyone with information should contact Pc Daniel Ware via 0845 6060606 or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.