‘Organised team’ of thieves on £14k spending spree across West Yorkshire after stealing woman’s bank cards

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An “organised team” of thieves stole a woman’s bank cards and ran up a bill of £14,000 on a spending spree across the region.

Two men and a woman distracted the 66-year-old victim before stealing her bank cards from her bag in Cookridge, Leeds, on September 10.

Now detectives have released images of the trio, who used the cards to draw out cash and buy smartphones and tablet computers in shops across West Yorkshire including in Wakefield and Dewsbury.

Det Cons Rhys Stead, of Leeds District Neighbourhood Crime Team, said: “The bank cards were used throughout West Yorkshire and South Yorkshire for purchases and cash withdrawals totalling around £14,000.

”We believe these offenders are an organised team that are travelling throughout the UK committing similar offences as well as loitering around cash machines to see people’s PIN numbers suspect in Barclays before distracting them and stealing their cards.”

The three suspects, described as eastern European, approached the victim when she had returned home from a shopping trip.

Police said they distracted her by asking for directions and pointing to a large map.

The victim put her handbag in the hallway of her house to get a notepad to make a note of the directions.

While distracted, her bank cards were stolen from her bag before the trio drove off in a car towards Horsforth in Leeds.

Police said they may have watched the victim pay for items in a supermarket earlier and made a note of her PIN code.

The suspects have been recorded on CCTV cameras at the TK Maxx store and Barclays Bank in Wakefield, Cash Converters shop in Dewsbury and at the Owlcotes shopping centre in Pudsey, Leeds.

Det Cons Stead added: “I would like to hear from anyone who recognises them or who has any information that could assist us in identifying them. We would also like to hear from anyone who has been approached in similar circumstances.”

Anyone with any information should contact police on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.