Reigate and Banstead residents asked to be vigilant after distraction thefts

Surrey Police are appealing for witnesses after two elderly people had their bank cards stolen as part of a distraction theft in Redhill and a robbery in Reigate.

The robbery happened on 22 June at around 10.30am when an elderly woman was paying for her parking at a pay machine in Upper West Street car park in Reigate. She was approached by a man who began speaking to her and once she had finished paying, the man forcefully snatched her bank card and ran away.

He is described as Asian, around 30-years-old and 6ft in height with short black hair and was wearing a white shirt.

The distraction theft happened at around midday on Monday (27 June). An elderly man was walking along Station Road when he was approached by a woman asking for directions. The woman asked him to write the directions down when two men approached and joined her.

When the man got home, he realised some of his bank cards had been taken out of his wallet.

The woman is described as White, around 20-years-old with medium length brown hair and was wearing a black dress. The two men are described as Asian and around 55-years-old.

Fortunately, in both cases, the debit cards were cancelled before any money could be taken.

Inspector Alex Maguire, Borough Commander for Reigate and Banstead, said: “We believe elderly people were deliberately targeted for their bank cards in both of these cases.

“I would advise all residents to remain vigilant to strangers who are behaving suspiciously and keep all belongings in a secure, zipped bag which sits in front of your body, and share this advice with elderly neighbours, friends and family.

“If you think you may have been the victim of a distraction theft, or have any information about suspicious behaviour in the area, please contact us straightaway.”

If you think you can help with our investigation, including if you have CCTV or dashcam footage of either of the areas at the time, please contact us quoting PR/45220066999 for the Redhill incident and 45220066312 for the Reigate incident via:

•            Webchat on our website https://www.surrey.police.uk/

•            Our online reporting tool https://www.surrey.police.uk/tua/tell-us-about/cor/tell-us-about-existing-case-report/

•            Calling us on 101

If you do not wish to leave your name, please call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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