Debit card theft spike across the southside

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POLICE have warned shoppers to protect their PIN number following a spate of distraction thefts across the southside and into Ayrshire.

Inspector Alan Dickson, of Giffnock police station, confirmed that officers are investigating a spike in debit card thefts at supermarkets following four southside incidents — in East Renfrewshire, Pollok, Cathcart and Govan — as well as further reports from Ayrshire.

He told The Extra: “On Wednesday afternoon an elderly couple where at a till, and paid using a debit card. The lady reports being aware of a female standing close by.

“It appears to be a team of two — a woman watching for PIN numbers at self-service checkouts and a man who follows the victim outside saying they’ve dropped something. In the confusion the man then manages to get hold of the victim’s card.

“The couple lost £500 from their bank account.”

The male suspect is described as around 5ft8, African in appearance, very smartly dressed and with a broad build.

The female suspect is thought to be of Asian or African appearance.

Inspector Dickson has issued a plea for anyone with information to contact their local police station on non-emergency number 101.

He added: “People also need to be aware of this issue, especially when using self service machines or paying by card.

“It’s important to hide your PIN number from those around you, keep your purse or wallet in a safe place and be alert to anyone who engages you in conversation after you’ve used your card.”