Suffolk Police News - Updates and Information

Car park distraction thefts

Since the 1st October 2013 to date there have been 18 offences where elderly victims have been targeted and bank cards/money being stolen. These offences have occurred in various locations around Suffolk in public/supermarket car parks.

Suspects appear to identify victims either within the store or at the ATM machine outside. They then follow victim in queue for till or ATM and watch as the PIN is inputted. When victim approaches their car to load shopping, suspects then approach using a variety of distraction techniques including:

• Nail in tyre
• Dropped £5 or £10 note
• Asking directions, using map / asking for change

Whilst the victim is distracted a purse, or cards from within the purse are taken, or cards loose in victims pocket (depending on the distraction method used) is taken. Offenders already know the PIN from watching previously.

These offences usually take place during the afternoon or early evening. Victims are often parked in the disabled bays and aged over 70.

In view of these recent incidents police are asking shoppers to be vigilant and for you to make any older friends, neighbours, relatives or NW members aware of these distraction ploys.

Please keep a close eye on your purse, wallet, handbag, etc, and always be careful when entering your PIN number at cashpoints or at store checkouts so that no one can see what numbers you are putting in.

If you are approached, or see something, and suspect a crime may be in progress please alert police using 999.

Pay at Pump card skimming devices

Police are urging people to be on their guard after skimming devices were located on pay at pump petrol pumps in Sudbury and Martlesham recently
It is unknown how long the devices had been on the pumps therefore members of the public who have used the pay at pump facilities at the filling station are being asked to contact their bank to check for any unauthorised transactions.

Police are urging anyone using cashpoints or similar pay points to be vigilant and to alert staff or officers as quickly as possible if you spot anyone tampering with them or if you find anything suspicious.

Protecting your mobile phone

A new online advice service to help people protect their mobile phone handsets from thieves is now available.

Advice has been published on the website with the support of major phone manufacturers Apple, Blackberry, LG, Samsung, Sony, Nokia and Windows Phones.

The service encourages the public to make more use of their phone’s security features, including innovations such as tracking, wiping data from or locking stolen handsets remotely using another internet-enabled device. The service also provides links to information on each manufacturer’s security features, including how to switch them on.
There are also tips on avoiding mobile phone theft in the first place, such as taking extra care to keep handsets secure in busy locations and never leaving a mobile phone unattended.

In 2012/13 there were 742,000 victims of mobile phone theft in England and Wales. 16 to 24-year-olds are the most likely age group to be the target of ‘theft from the person’ offences.

Read more on this

Don’t let fraudsters steal your charitable spirit.

Charities rely on the good intentions and generosity of the community.

While most charity collectors are genuine, there are some people who use the guise of being part of a charitable organisation to collect cash.
This not only dupes the community into funding crime, but it also deprives genuine charities of the cash they need in order to continue their good work.

What can you do to spot fraudsters and make sure that your donation goes where you want it to?
Quite a lot actually, there are various ways that you can confirm the validity of a collector or charity.

For more information please see the leaflet by visiting the Metropolitan Police website
Support Charity not Crime