Three people have been arrested following distraction thefts in Sevenoaks where older people have been targeted at cash machines.
The suspects were detained after a police helicopter was used to follow the suspects’ car from outside a bank in the town to a location in Surrey.
Kent Police was called at 11.20am on Tuesday 15 March 2022, to a report a victim aged in his 70s had been approached by a man and a woman at a cash machine in Sevenoaks High Street. It is alleged the woman was wearing a lanyard and may have claimed to have been working for the bank.
They were challenged by a witness who suspected a scam was taking place and police were called. Patrols received details of the suspect’s vehicle, a blue Ford Focus, which enquiries linked to previous similar incidents at cash machines in Sevenoaks.
The vehicle was initially tracked to Biggin Hill, from where its movements were watched closely from a police officer helicopter. It eventually stopped in a car park in Warlingham, Surrey where the driver fled on foot and scaled a fence onto a railway line. He was located hiding in a nearby shed by a police sergeant and arrested. Colleagues also detained two women from within the car.
Searches of the vehicle and immediate surrounding area led to the recovery of a suspected cloned number plate. Several addresses linked to the suspects were then searched in Beckton, London, where ten phones and more than £1,000 in cash was seized. The man, aged 37 and two women, aged 30 and 32, were all later bailed pending further enquiries, to return to a police station on 12 April.
Detective Constable Tony Hatcher of West Kent CID said: ‘We are carrying out an extensive and comprehensive investigation into the activities of these three suspects and have to also consider the possibility there may be other offences we are not yet aware of. If you think you may have seen any suspicious activity at cash machines in or around the Sevenoaks area in recent weeks please contact us. Any information you have may be very important.’
If you have information which may assist the investigation contact Kent Police on 01622 604100, quoting reference 46/48713/22. You can also contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 or by using the online form on their website.