Police are reminding shoppers to be vigilant following further reports of sophisticated distraction-type thefts in Cheshire supermarkets.
Cheshire Police says offenders, who watch shoppers enter their pin numbers into chip and pin devices at the checkout, are mainly targeting older people who are shopping at the supermarket.
The thieves are believed to strike once the shoppers have loaded their shopping in the car and have placed their handbag on the passenger seat.
One offender is known to distract the victim by asking for directions, while their accomplice steals the shopper’s bank card from their purse before emptying the victim’s account.
DCI Paul Beauchamp said: “Of concern to us is the fact that these thieves appear to target older shoppers when committing their crimes.
“We are again taking the opportunity to remind the public to be on their guard and to have an awareness of this type of crime and following simple crime prevention steps.
“Similarly, we want you to always check your bank statements for any inaccuracies or discrepancies, as credit card fraud may not be immediately apparent.”
The force is urging shoppers to be on their guard and to take steps to prevent thieves from stealing their cards.
Shoppers are advised not to leave their handbag hung over the shopping trolley or unattended at any time or engage with anyone in or around a supermarket, particularly if they ask for directions or change.
When using a chip and pin device or ATM, shoppers are also advised to always shield their number with their hand.
Anyone who sees suspicious activity or has any information should contact Cheshire Police on 101.
Alternatively information can be reported anonymously by contacting Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.