Couple steal £500 from Elm Park woman, 71, in distraction theft
07:00 03 July 2014
A 71-year-old woman has said she relives the attack that saw a couple fleece her of £500 while she used a cashpoint alone every night.
Police believe that the male and female that targeted Teresa Carty, of Elm Park, while her husband lay at home seriously ill, are responsible for other recent distraction thefts.
Mrs Carty told the Recorder this week how the attack at midday on April 4 left her feeling “vulnerable”.
She withdrew her shopping money from the cashpoint at Sainsbury’s, in Elm Park Avenue, Elm Park, when an Asian couple approached her.
While they shouted, barged and confused her they convinced her to put her card back in the machine because they claimed she had not removed all her cash.
“With that he rushed across in front of me, pushed me back and ran off,” she said.
Mrs Carty was too embarrassed to check her balance but when she did the following day, accompanied by her son for support, she realised £500 was missing.
“I was absolutely shocked, I felt so gullible,” she said.
“It’s horrible. I relive it every night. It’s such a horrible thing to do to an older person.
“I look for them every time I walk down the street.”
She said that she rarely goes to the cashpoint alone and only did so that day because husband Timothy, 72, was ill in bed.
Investigating officer Det Con Tara Wilson said that distraction thefts are a new crime to the borough and stressed that everybody should ensure there is a limit on their card so large amounts cannot be stolen.
Police wish to speak to an Asian couple in connection with the crime. The male is 30-40 years old and 5ft 4in. The female is around 30 years old and 5ft 5in tall.
If anyone recognises the couple or can help the police contact Havering CID on 101, quoting 5405008/14 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.