Pensioners targeted in distraction burglary

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Detectives are hunting four people over an ATM distraction theft against two elderly women in St Helens.

The first victim, an 81-year-old woman, was targeted as she used a cash machines in the Lidl supermarket in King Street, St Helens.

It is believed a man watched her enter her pin number at around 11.05am on Monday, February 15 before a second man approached the victim as she put her shopping in her car.

He asked for her directions to Whiston Hospital and provided a notepad and paper to write down the directions.

The victim later discovered her debit card was missing from her purse.

A series of withdrawals and payments were made using the card the same day.

A similar incident occurred at around 12.30pm on February 18 at Tesco in Newton-le-Willows when another elderly woman was asked for directions to the nearest hospital.

The victim later checker her purse and discovered that her card was missing and found that money was withdrawn on two occasions that day.

Insp Andy Johnston said: “Members of the public should be alert when paying for items using their pin number and when withdrawing cash from ATMs at all times.

“Any suspicious activity around machines should be reported immediately. Supermarket staff in the area have also been briefed to be extra vigilant and increased checks on ATM machines are being carried out.

“Any suspicious activity around chip and pin machines and ATM machines should be reported immediately.”

If you are in the images release by police or recognise any of the people pictured, please contact Merseyside Police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.