Romford shoppers warned after distraction thief targets the elderly

Romford Shopping Hall

Romford Shopping Hall - Credit: Archant

Police have said the thief has been conning senior citizens by saying that they dropped money on the floor.

Romford Police has issued a warning to elderly shoppers after a distraction thief has been targeting senior citizens and conning them by saying they had dropped money on the floor.

A letter sent by Romford Town SNT to Romford Shopping Hall said that a man had been approaching residents with a £10 or £20 note in his hand, and telling them that they had just dropped the money on the floor.

As they open their purse or wallet the man then takes their bank cards and runs off.

Before the cards are cancelled money has been withdrawn from their account.

Officers said that two 65-year-old victims had both been targeted in one week - between Monday, July 30 and Sunday, August 5 - and both incidents were in Romford town centre.

A spokesman from Romford SNT said: “If you are approached by anyone stating you have dropped some money do not be tempted to take it from them.

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“We would ask people to follow the crime prevention advise on the bottom of the letter, call us at the time on 999 or 101 if reported later.”