Warning after thieves target older Fifers in spate of distraction thefts

Police have arrested and charged a man over alleged motorcycle crime in Edinburgh
Police have arrested and charged a man over alleged motorcycle crime in Edinburgh

Police are warning the public to be on their guard for distraction thefts after three incidents in Fife on Monday.

On these occasions – in Dunfermline, Kirkcaldy and Cupar – a team of three suspects targeted older customers in supermarkets, watched them using their pin numbers and while distracting them by asking for directions, stole their purses.

The suspects then withdrew cash from their accounts using the cards in the purses.

The first suspect is described as being a woman in her 30s with fair to mid-brown hair worn in a ponytail. She was wearing a cream, thick roll-neck jumper, parka jacket, and glasses.

She was of average height and build and may have had an eastern European accent.

The other two suspects were men, one in his 30s, the other in his 40s or 50s and both around 5ft 10in tall.

The younger man is described as slim-built with a dark complexion and facial stubble. He was wearing a flat cap, fur-trimmed parka and ripped jeans.

The older man was of stocky build with grey hair and was wearing a dark baseball cap, fur-trimmed parka and jeans.

Officers are now urging members of the public to take precautions to protect their possessions and are asking anyone with information about these incidents to please get in touch.

Sergeant Sharon Holmes, of Cupar police station, said: “We are following positive lines of inquiry, however we are urging the public to take a few precautions.

“Please make sure you shield your PIN number. If people are standing too close to you, then ask them to move away or stop your transaction.

“Keep your purse or wallet safely secured in a zipped bag or pocket, never leave them unattended in trollies or car boots.

“Safety items like bells to attach to your purse are available to buy for 50p at most police offices across Fife via your local community team.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 2279 of December 18 for the Cupar incident or 0968 of December 18 for the Dunfermline incident or 2094 of December 18 for the Kirkcaldy incident.