HEARTLESS thieves bought goods to the value of £4,000 after stealing an elderly woman's bank debit card in a distraction theft at Morrisons in Warminster, it was revealed today (Feb 18).

Police have warned elderly and vulnerable residents to be vigilant following a spate of distraction thefts in supermarket car parks in Chippenham, Salisbury, Swindon and Warminster in recent weeks.

In the latest incident, which took place at 2.30pm on Wednesday February 12, a woman in her 80s returned to her vehicle in the Morrisons car park in Warminster having done her shopping.

Officers said she was approached by a man who asked her for help. As she sat in the driver’s seat, he held a note to the window and requested she got out of the car to assist him with a friend who had a medical emergency.

It is not believed the man spoke English.

The woman refused to get out of her vehicle but during the incident, and unbeknown to her, someone had taken her bank debit card from her purse which was on the front passenger seat.

She was alerted the following day by her bank that her debit card had been used to make several large purchases in the Bath area to the value of £4,000.

All transactions were made using the victim’s PIN number so it is likely the offenders had observed her purchasing her shopping in Morrisons.

Enquiries are ongoing but similar incidents have also been reported at the Tesco supermarket in County Way, Swindon, Morrisons in Chippenham and Tesco Extra in Bourne Way, Salisbury.

PC Sue Ellway said: “We are conducting a number of enquiries in relation to these incidents which have no doubt caused a lot of upset and distress to the victims.

“I’d like to remind shoppers of the importance of ensuring you shield your PIN number when shopping as you never know who may be watching.

"Be aware of your surroundings at all times and if you see anything suspicious, call police immediately on 101 or 999 in an emergency.”