Kent Police are reminding shoppers in Maidstone to keep their wallets and purses safe following a distraction theft at a supermarket.

A wallet and bank cards were reported stolen when a man in his 60s was shopping at Tesco in Grove Green, at about lunchtime on Tuesday 20 October 2020.

It is alleged one of the bank cards was used at a cashpoint outside the store immediately after the theft, and then at further shops in the town centre.

While this type of offence is not a common occurrence in this town, I would remind shoppers to be careful when out and about to avoid becoming victim to opportunist thieves. 

‘Always keep wallets or purses in a secure pocket or in bags that are zipped up and where you can see them. 

‘Don’t carry large amounts of cash and, when you use a bank or credit card, ensure nobody can see you enter the PIN. 

‘If you discover cards have been stolen, contact your bank or building society immediately so that they can be blocked.’

Inspector Stephen Kent of the Maidstone Community Safety Unit

How to prevent personal theft

  • Carry wallets in an inside pocket, where possible, but never in your back pocket.
  • Zip up hand and shoulder bags, and carry with the fasteners against your body to prevent a thief from dipping into it.
  • Keep straps short and bags tucked under your arm, or in front of you.
  • Don’t display jewellery.
  • Don’t show your money – keep it safely in your pocket.
  • Never leave your bags or other valuables unattended.
  • Ensure any bags placed on the on the floor are in front of you so that any movement of the bag will be noticeable.

Can you help?

Anyone with information that may assist the investigation should contact 01622 604100, quoting crime reference number 46/188093/20.

You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, by calling 0800 555111.