Chichester shoppers targeted in £20,000 county-wide scam

CCTV image released by police of two men they want to speak to
CCTV image released by police of two men they want to speak to

Chichester shoppers are among a number to be targeted by thieves in supermarkets who obtained nearly £20,000 by watching victims entering their PINs before stealing their wallets.

On June 18, a Chichester Sainsbury’s shopper had an amount taken from the cash machine using their PIN – one of 22 such reports across Sussex since November last year, police said.

Police believe the two men pictured, working with others, have been successful in obtaining nearly £20,000 by targeting victims in this way, the force said.

The men in the photo, taken at Sainsbury’s in Worthing on June 20, are described by police as of Eastern European appearance, one bald and the other with dark hair.

Investigator Kayleigh Bartup said: “We are also working with the large supermarket brands to raise awareness about these incidents among staff and customers.

“Be alert and aware of strangers when shopping in large supermarkets and never leave your bag or trolley unattended at any point.

“Try not to be distracted by strangers, and also be alert for any suspicious activity around your vehicle which you should keep secured.

“It appears that these men, and others, may strike up to twice a day in different towns, and then lay low for a while, so we need to maintain awareness even when there are no reports.”

Anyone who recognises the men or who has any further information is asked to contact Sussex Police via https://sussex.police.uk/appealresponse or call 101, quoting reference 47170066290

If you see anyone behaving suspiciously in this way, alert store security staff or dial 999, police said.

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