Eighty-nine-year-old woman and eighty-three-year-old man lose £500 in Haywards Heath hospital car park thefts

An 89-year-old woman and an 83-year-old man had £500 taken from their bank accounts following a distraction theft in a Haywards Heath hospital car park.

Monday, 15th November 2021, 7:42 am

Police said they are investigating the incidents that happened while the two people were using a pay-and-display machine.

A Sussex Police spokesperson said, “At 2.40pm on Thursday, November 11, an 89-year-old woman went to use the pay-and-display machine in the car park of the Princess Royal Hospital.

“She was approached by a man who told her that she had to get a ticket from the nearest machine to where she had parked and he would help her.

Picture from Sussex Police SUS-211002-094135001

“He watched her use her bank debit card to purchase a ticket and then made off.”

Officers said when the victim got home and checked her account, she found £500 had been taken and her bank card was missing from her handbag.

The spokesperson added, “The suspect was described as white, 5’ 9”, aged in his mid-40s with dark brown hair and he was wearing a dark brown, tanned coloured stripy top.

“Twenty minutes later a man who had also parked in the hospital car park was approached by a man who told him he needed to use his bank card in the pay-and-display machine to get a ticket, but when he tried to pay for the ticket the machine took his bank card.

“The 83-year-old victim reported this to hospital security who advised him to cancel his bank card. Before he did this, the bank card was used to withdraw £500 from a cashpoint machine.”

Police said the suspect was described as an Asian man in his 30s.

Investigator Helen Griffin said, “We believe these two incidents of theft are linked because they are similar and we believe there may be other people who could have fallen victim to this.

“If anyone witnessed this happening or has any information please contact us.

“Our neighbourhood policing team will be patrolling the area and we are warning people to be on their guard against this ‘distraction type’ theft.

“If you need help using the pay and display parking machine then speak to hospital staff.”

Anyone with information is asked to report it online or by calling 101 quoting serial 460 of 12/11.