Deceptive thief targets elderly man in Bishop's Stortford's Waitrose
An elderly man had £800 taken from his bank account within minutes of having his wallet stolen in Waitrose in Bishop's Stortford by a man seeking his advice about wine.
Police have released CCTV pictures of a man they want to speak to in connection with the crime.
The 79-year-old victim was targeted by a thief while he was shopping in the Northgate End supermarket on Saturday, April 27 between 9.50am and 10.07am.
Earlier that morning, the OAP had withdrawn money from the cashpoint at Barclays Bank in North Street. He checked over his shoulder to see if anyone was loitering, but saw no-one acting suspiciously. He then put his wallet in his back pocket and went to Waitrose.
While he was in the store, a man with an eastern European accent approached him, asked for advice on wine to buy and held out two bottles. The pensioner gave him an answer and the stranger asked him where he could buy an overcoat. A few moments later, the man walked off.
The victim thought the encounter was untoward and checked his pocket. He realised that his wallet – which contained bank cards, cash, his driving licence and a golf club card – was missing.
He immediately went to his bank to report the theft and was told £800 had been taken from his account.
Police officers who are investigating the theft are appealing to the public for their help in tracing the man in the CCTV images.
PCSO Tea Prow, from the Bishop’s Stortford and Sawbridgeworth Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “We believe the man pictured was in the area at the time and he could have seen what happened or have information that will help us."
If you recognise him or have information about the theft, call non-emergency number 101 or email firstname.lastname@example.org quoting crime reference 41/37861/19.