Police are reminding the public to always shield their pin numbers when paying for goods or withdrawing cash following distraction thefts in Milton Keynes.
Criminals are closely watching people enter their pin numbers into payment or cash machines and then using various distraction methods to steal the owner’s card. They can then use the card to withdraw cash or pay for goods themselves.
In one offence a female offender stood close behind a lady in a supermarket so that she could see the pin number being entered. After the lady had loaded her shopping into her car and placed her handbag on the passenger seat she was approached by the offender who made a pretence of needing directions. She beckoned the lady to get out of her car to help with the directions and whilst this is going on an accomplice entered the car and stole the card from the lady’s handbag. The lady was unaware of this until she got home. The card was subsequently used in a number of locations in Milton Keynes.
In other cases, offenders have distracted people using cash machines by stating that they have dropped money on the floor. While the victim is distracted they take the card from the machine having already observed the pin number being entered.
These offences rely on the offender being able to see the pin number being entered so it is important that you shield the keypad when entering the number. If possible also check to see if anyone is standing close by who could be trying to look at the number being entered.
With sub-zero temperatures expected to continue, you should expect your windscreens to be iced up in the coming mornings. You should also be aware that opportunist thieves could be on the look out to take advantage of a vehicle left while its owner is warming it up to defrost the windows. It literally only needs a moment for a thief to have enough time to jump behind the wheel and drive off with your car.
The simple message is not to leave a running car unattended for any length of time whether it is left on your own driveway to de-ice on a cold winter morning or for example while you pop to post a letter. Give yourself extra time to defrost all your cars windows and don’t be tempted to leave the car even for a few moments.
Modern cars are quite difficult to steal without the keys so criminals are looking for opportunities to steal the car with the keys. A car unattended with its engine running is a golden opportunity for a thief. Potentially you could lose thousands of pounds because leaving your car with the keys available in this way may leave you uninsured for the theft.
Further information regarding crime prevention can be found at http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk.
Thames valley police is proposing to reduce the number of front counters in Buckinghamshire
In times of austerity the Force needs to look at ways to transform how it delivers services in order to be as effective and efficient as possible, whilst maximising every opportunity to prevent crime, protect the public and bring offenders to justice.
The way people interact with the police is changing; the public want to contact us at a time and place that’s convenient to them – with more people engaging with us on the phone or online. A total of 86% people told us they prefer to contact police on the phone in a non-emergency, based on a survey of 9,187 people.
Therefore, we are proposing to close a number of front counters in the county as we improve our communication with the public by other means while ensuring that in the main you will never be further than ten miles from a front counter. The public can still contact the police by telephone, via our website, social media accounts or our community alert system.
From 1 April 2016:
The public can still contact the police 24-hours a day by calling 101 in a non-emergency call or 999 in an emergency. For the deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech-impaired you can contact the Force by texting 18000. More and more of our services are moving online. The public can access information, crime prevention advice, report a crime or find contact details for local neighbourhood teams by visiting our website http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk.
If you see any suspicious behaviour in progress, call the police on 999. If you have any further information, please call the police non-emergency number on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. For further advice or information, please call your local neighbourhood team on 101 or visit http://www.thamesvalley.police.uk/uk/crprev.
Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator
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