Hampshire Incidents

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Appeal for witnesses after distraction robbery attempt in Fleet

Officers are appealing for witnesses and offering crime prevention advice following reports of a distraction robbery attempt in Fleet.

Between 10am and 11am on Friday 29 October, an elderly woman withdrew money from the NatWest bank on Fleet Road and placed the cash into an envelope.

She then made her way to the bus stop outside the British Heart Foundation shop and was approached by a woman with a clipboard, who asked her to fill in a survey for a charity.

The elderly woman then noticed the woman rummaging through her bag and saw her remove the envelope which contained her money.

She quickly challenged the woman and the pair tussled for the envelope.

An unknown man then stepped in and the younger woman let go of the envelope before sprinting off in the direction of Sainsbury’s.

Officers are now appealing for witnesses and extra information which could help with their investigation.

Were you in the area at the time? Did you see anything suspicious? Did you witness the incident?

The suspect has been described as being a woman in her 30s, of slim build and wearing a green/blue puffer jacket and grey jeans.

Officers are warning Hart residents to be extra vigilant following the distraction robbery attempt.

A distraction robbery is when someone approaches you under false pretences, often pretending to be from local authorities or utility services such as the gas, electricity, or water board.

Often, one person will be distracting you as another looks for items to steal from you.

Police would like to take this opportunity to remind people of what they can do to help protect themselves:

Keep purses and bags closed and secure at all times
Be aware of your surroundings and what is happening around you when you are out shopping
Carry bags in front of you or diagonally across your chest
Return cards to your purse or wallet quickly and zip it up or button it
Use a purse that’s difficult for others to open – one that zips or snaps shut is best
Conceal your wallet in a buttoned or zipped pocket where it doesn’t bulge
Don’t hang bags on the back of your chair or a pushchair
Anyone with information is asked to phone 101 using the reference 44210434739. Alternatively, you can call Crimestoppers 100% anonymously on 0800 555 111.