Watch it! – Don’t be a victim of Distraction Auto Crime

Please be aware and alert to a new crime that’s starting to take place across Warwickshire, with incidents in Stratford, Warwick and Leamington already reported.


People leaving or returning to their vehicle are targeted. An individual approaches the driver as they get close to the car and ask for directions posing as being lost. They get a map out and get the driver as involved as possible to distract their attention whilst an accomplice pickpockets handbags, wallets and if possible also rifles the car.


Don’t’ be distracted and look around to see who else maybe nearby.

Without being unhelpful, don’t be drawn into giving detailed directions or looking at maps

Report any such incidents, even if they are unsuccessful, to the Police.

Further Details;

One woman was approached by an Eastern European looking woman as she walked to her vehicle after using the self service till in Sainsburys at Shires Retail Park, Leamington Spa at 11.05am on Friday 30 September.

The woman pulled out a map and laid it out flat on the car next to hers and asked her for directions to Hereford. The woman obliged and felt that she was asked a lot of silly questions. Now she believes she was deliberately distracted so that her credit card could be stolen. She cancelled her card but has been informed by her bank that the card was used on four occasions to steal cash and goods worth over £1000.

An 80 year old woman managed to foil the attempts of thieves who officers believe were attempting to distract her so they could steal valuables from her car during an incident at Sainsburys in Saltisford, Warwick at 12.50pm on Sunday lunchtime 16 October. The woman explained how an Eastern European looking male approached her asking for directions to a hospital. While she was talking to him, another male tried to get into her car. She realised what was happening and locked her car. Both males left the area together.

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