Warning Signs for Dacorum Shop Car Parks

Living Magazines Distraction theft

Police warning signs – urging shoppers to be on their guard – will be appearing in Dacorum car parks following a spike in distraction thefts, where elderly shoppers were targeted by thieves in supermarket car parks.

There have been a number of incidents recently, including one at Sainsbury’s in Apsley, and a second at Waitrose in Berkhamsted, with criminals using similar tactics to target elderly women returning to their cars having used their card and pin number to pay for shopping in store.

‘As they return to their cars, victims are distracted by someone suggesting they’ve left shopping in a trolley or dropped something. When they go to look, their purse or wallet is stolen,’ said Sgt James Watson, from Dacorum Safer Neighbourhood Team.

‘We want people to be on their guard and take extra care of their wallets and purses when they are out shopping. Unfortunately, these kinds of thefts often take place in car parks, as shoppers are easy to distract, and the fake scenarios used are easily believable.

‘If anyone thinks they may have been approached in a similar way, please contact us as soon as possible.’

You can also report information online at herts.police.uk/report, speak to an operator in the Force Communications Room via online web chat at herts.police.uk/contact or call the non-emergency number 101.

Alternatively, you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 or via their untraceable online form at www.crimestoppers-uk.org.

To receive police messages about a range of topics including burglaries, scams and missing people in your local area, sign up to owl.co.uk/herts or download the ‘OWL crime alerts’ app from your app store.