Mid Sussex shoppers are being warned to be on the alert for thieves following several incidents in recent months.
This follows nine incidents in the Mid Sussex area, plus several others across Sussex, in which supermarket customers, and some other shoppers, have been watched whilst entering their PIN numbers and have then had their purses and wallets stolen as they leave the store.
Suspects then withdraw large amounts of cash from nearby cash machines before the victims are aware.
Police say in a statement that the two men pictured, working with others, are believed to have been successful in obtaining nearly £20,000 by targeting victims in this way.
Since November last year there have been 22 such reports in Sussex.
The men in the photo, taken at Sainsburys in Worthing on June 20, are described as of Eastern European appearance, one bald and the other with dark hair.
Anyone who recognises the men or who has any further information is asked to contact Sussex Police via https://sussex.police.uk/appealresponse or call 101, quoting reference 47170066290
If you see anyone behaving suspiciously in this way, alert store security staff or dial 999.
Investigator Kayleigh Bartup said; “We are also working with the large supermarket brands to raise awareness about these incidents among staff and customers.
“Be alert and aware of strangers when shopping in large supermarkets and NEVER leave your bag or trolley unattended at any point. Try not to be distracted by strangers, and also be alert for any suspicious activity around your vehicle which you should keep secured.
“It appears that these men, and others, may strike up to twice a day in different towns, and then lay low for a while, so we need to maintain awareness even when there are no reports.”
Incidents have taken place at;
Sainsburys in East Grinstead on 13 February - £1,749 obtained:
The Crown pub in East Grinstead on 13 February - £250 obtained by subsequent use of ATM at Sainsburys in Eastbourne:
The Ship pub in East Grinstead on 13 February – £250 obtained by subsequent use of ATM at Sainsburys in Eastbourne:
Waitrose in East Grinstead on 9 May - £27 obtained:
McDonalds in Burgess Hill on 21 May - £70 obtained:
Sainsburys in East Grinstead on 26 May - £1,219 obtained:
St Catherine’s Hospice shop, East Grinstead on 26 May - £240 obtained by subsequent use at ATMs at Halifax and Natwest in London Road, East Grinstead:
Waitrose in Burgess Hill on 8 June - £900 obtained:
Sainsburys in Haywards Heath on 22 June – amount not confirmed.
Tesco in Lewes on 19 November 2016 - £1,360 obtained:
Waitrose in Crowborough on 19 January 2017 - £900 obtained:
Waitrose in Hove on 19 January – unsuccessful attempt:
Waitrose in Hove on 1 March - £1,000 obtained:
Waitrose in Lewes on 2 March - £1,000 obtained:
Morrison’s in Seaford on 7 March - £1,800 obtained:
Morrison’s in Seaford on 11 March – £1,100 obtained:
Asda in Brighton on 11 March - £1,000 obtained:
Waitrose in Eastbourne on 12 May - £2,500 obtained:
Waitrose in Hailsham on 26 May- £630 obtained:
Tesco in Uckfield on 7 June – unsuccessful attempt:
Waitrose in Crowborough on 10 June - £50 obtained:
Waitrose in Hove on 17 June - £3,500 obtained:
Sainsburys in Worthing on 17 June - £282 obtained:
Sainsburys in Chichester on 19 June – amount not confirmed: