POLICE are warning stores in Chester to be vigilant against those using stolen gift vouchers.
Last month, more than £35,000 worth of Provident vouchers were stolen from the personal credit firm’s Bootle office, North Liverpool.
These vouchers were then used by two men in HMV at the Coliseum Retail Park, Ellesmere Port, to buy £1,400 worth of goods, including a PlayStation 3 and I-Pods.
Police now fear that Chester’s shops could be targeted by the offenders in the near future and are asking employees to check with Provident first before allowing goods to be bought with vouchers.
Spokesperson Shelly Williams said: “As this particular incident occurred nearby in Ellesmere Port, it is possible that there may be further attempts to use these vouchers in the surrounding area.
“We urge all stores in the Chester area who participate in the Provident vouchers scheme to be vigilant in checking the authenticity of any vouchers presented as means of payment and be aware of any customer attempting to pay for high value goods with a number of vouchers.
“Proprietors are advised to contact Provident on 0151 524 0055 and verify serial codes. Any unusual activity should be reported to Police.”
Anybody with information in relation to the theft of the vouchers should contact PC Ollie Carruthers at Ellesmere Port Neighbourhood Policing Unit on 0845 458 0000.