Purse dippers strike in Harpenden

Herts police

Herts police - Credit: Archant

A WOMAN in her 80s was distracted and had £300 stolen from her account after thieves made off with her bank card in Harpenden.

Police are appealing for information on the crime, which took place in the high street between midday and 12.10pm on Wednesday, June 19, and are warning shoppers of distraction thefts.

The woman was watched as she used her PIN number at Boots and was then followed by the thief who told her she had dropped a £10 note. She opened her purse and the cash card was stolen and used to withdraw £300.

Two purses containing credit and debit cards were stolen from handbags in shopping trolleys in Waitrose two days before the incident between 4.25pm and 5.20pm.

PCSO Del Holloway said: “We need to make shoppers and residents aware of two types of thefts. Offenders are stealing purses from unattended handbags, sometimes left in shopping trolleys.

“A second type of theft is occurring where offenders are watching people putting in their PIN, following them and saying they have lost a £10 note.

“As they check their purses, the offenders steal their bank cards and withdraw cash.” “We need descriptions of the offenders so we can put a stop to this despicable crime and make thieves unwelcome in Harpenden.”