Please be aware and alert to a new crime that’s starting to take place across Warwickshire, with incidents in Stratford, Warwick and Leamington already reported.
People leaving or returning to their vehicle are targeted. An individual approaches the driver as they get close to the car and ask for directions posing as being lost. They get a map out and get the driver as involved as possible to distract their attention whilst an accomplice pickpockets handbags, wallets and if possible also rifles the car.
HOW TO DEAL WITH IT
Don’t’ be distracted and look around to see who else maybe nearby.
Without being unhelpful, don’t be drawn into giving detailed directions or looking at maps
Report any such incidents, even if they are unsuccessful, to the Police.
One woman was approached by an Eastern European looking woman as she walked to her vehicle after using the self service till in Sainsburys at Shires Retail Park, Leamington Spa at 11.05am on Friday 30 September.
The woman pulled out a map and laid it out flat on the car next to hers and asked her for directions to Hereford. The woman obliged and felt that she was asked a lot of silly questions. Now she believes she was deliberately distracted so that her credit card could be stolen. She cancelled her card but has been informed by her bank that the card was used on four occasions to steal cash and goods worth over £1000.
An 80 year old woman managed to foil the attempts of thieves who officers believe were attempting to distract her so they could steal valuables from her car during an incident at Sainsburys in Saltisford, Warwick at 12.50pm on Sunday lunchtime 16 October. The woman explained how an Eastern European looking male approached her asking for directions to a hospital. While she was talking to him, another male tried to get into her car. She realised what was happening and locked her car. Both males left the area together.
At some point between 9.30am and 2.30pm on Monday 3 October, offenders used a screwdriver to force open the rear door of a cottage home in Coventry Road, Kenilworth. Once inside the premises the offenders carried out an untidy search before making off with a laptop computer and items of jewellery.
Please keep a keen eye out for suspicious vehicles or individuals loitering around homes or in streets. If you see such behaviour please report it immediately so it can be checked out as soon as possible.
If you have any information regarding this crime please call Warwickshire Police on 01926 415000 and refer to Incident 229 of 3 October 2011.
Incident 311 of 15 August
At some point before 6.20pm on 15 August offenders approached the side of a home in Forge Road, Kenilworth and forced open the door of a cupboard housing the gas meter. The offenders cut the supply to the meter and then cut the meter out of the cupboard.
Incident 129 of 15 August
At some point between 6pm on 11 and 8am on 15 August offenders stole a silver grey Scott sub 30 ladies bike from the rear of flats in Harbourne Close, Kenilworth.
Please remain alert, on the lookout for suspicious persons or activity around your own or neighbouring homes and please report anything of concern to police.