Distraction thieves ask for map directions at Northampton supermarkets

Shoppers should remain alert after a recent spate of distraction thefts across the county, Northamptonshire Police has warned.

Monday, 29th July 2019, 5:16 pm
Distraction thieves are now asking for map directions in some Northampton supermarket car parks, police have today (Monday) said.

The incidents have predominantly taken place in supermarket car parks, most recently in Northampton.In these incidents, the victim has been approached by someone who has asked for directions and, on some occasions, then produced a map.

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Some of the victims have then got out of their car to help give directions. Whilst they are distracted, a second person has removed bank cards, cash, purses or bags from the boot or passenger seat of the victim’s car.Paul Golley, Crime Prevention Manager, said: “Criminals can use distraction techniques to their advantage in a variety of ways, including asking for directions whilst you are using a cash machine, or distracting you whilst you’ve left your handbag in the shopping trolley momentarily.“Such questions appear very normal and legitimate, and in many cases will be just that.

"However timing is everything to a distraction thief, as they are hoping to catch you off guard whilst your mind is focused on other things.”

Advice from police is to beware of wider surroundings and if something doesn’t feel right, politely decline.