Elderly shoppers hit by gang of supermarket thieves

© DC Thomson
The crooks watched their victims putting in their PIN numbers before stealing their bank card.

A gang of thieves targeted elderly shoppers in Fife supermarkets by watching them type their PINs then stealing their purses.

Three people fell foul in one day in Cupar, Dunfermline and Kirkcaldy and had money withdrawn from their bank accounts.

Police have warned the public to be on their guard for the woman and two men suspected of what they termed distraction thefts.

After their bank card numbers were obtained on Monday, the victims were distracted by one of the three suspects asking for directions while another stole their purses.

Police Scotland has appealed for help in snaring the thieves, who were all wearing Parka-style jackets, and advised people to be vigilant.

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.”

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

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

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

The female suspect was described as 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 spoken with an eastern European accent.

Both men were said to be around 5ft 10in tall and wearing fur-trimmed parka jackets, one of them in his 40s or 50s and the other in his 30s.

The older man was stocky with grey hair and was also wearing a dark baseball cap and jeans.

The younger man was slim-built with a dark complexion and facial stubble and was wearing a flat cap and ripped jeans.

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 and quote incident numbers 2279 (Cupar), 0968 (Dunfermline) or 2094 (Kirkcaldy).