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Thief distracted shopper and pickpocketed her in supermarket car park in Hornchurch

19:02 28 November 2012

Archant

»A good samaritan is warning people to be on their guard after she had her cash card stolen by a man she had stopped to help.

Anne McHugh, of Patricia Drive, Hornchurch, was targeted by a pickpocket last Friday in Tesco, Roneo Corner, Hornchurch, at 4.45pm.

Anne, 65 said: “I feel really sick that I have fallen victim to something like this because I should have been more aware.

“I would not like anyone else to go through this.”

Anne had just finished her shopping and was loading it into her car when she said a man ran over asking for help.

The man put a leaflet in her face and asked if she could read out an address, but she says that the address was in Wales.

Anne says that the man moved the leaflet closer to her face and pointed to something else on the page before making off. She only noticed that her card was stolen when she went to use it the next day.

Targeted

When she called her bank she was told that someone had tried three times to access her account. She said: “I was lucky that nothing was stolen, but at the time I did think it was strange that he was asking me to read out an address that was in Wales.

“He just kept on saying ‘no’ and pointing to somewhere else. He was putting the leaflet closer in my face, but wouldn’t let me hold it.”

Anne believes that she might have been an easy target because she put her card in the wallet, then in her purse without zipping it up.

She also says that she noticed a man walking back and forth to the woman behind her in the checkout.

She believes that the two incidents could be linked.

She said: “I remember asking the woman if she wanted to go in front of me because she only had a few items but she said no.

“I would warn everyone to make sure that they put their cards properly in their wallet and zip up their purse.”

n Anyone with information should call the police on 101.

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