Last month, I issued an alert (see below) to help protect our community against cash withdrawal thefts. Unfortunately, a member of the public fell victim to such a crime in Sevenoaks town centre yesterday, Wednesday 7th February 2024.
The victim was observed at the bank withdrawing a large sum of cash and placing it into a bag. Subsequently, the suspects followed her through town and while she was shopping in an out-of-town supermarket they broke into her vehicle and stole the bag.
Please share this alert widely to prevent others from becoming victims of similar crimes.
The police are actively investigating this incident and have some positive leads.
Stay vigilant and stay safe.
Cash Withdrawal Thefts - Protect yourself and family
Over recent months, police have seen a rise in thefts of cash from bank customers after leaving branches. Thefts occur after a customer withdraws a large sum of money. Either the customer is followed from the branch and is the victim of a personal theft or robbery or after leaving the cash in their vehicle, it is stolen from within. These offences are well organised, sometimes by gangs of thieves.
Upcoming Bank Visits
Over the coming weeks I will be visiting ALL Sevenoaks town centre bank branches to raise awareness. The focus will be on recognising potential risks, adopting preventive measures, and ensuring a secure banking environment for you.
To protect yourself stay vigilant and consider the following tips:
1. Digital Alternatives: Explore electronic transfers or other digital means as an alternative to large cash withdrawals.
2. Discreet Handling: Conceal your cash discreetly before leaving the branch to minimise the risk of being targeted.
3. Divide and Secure: Separate your cash into different compartments – wallet, purse, and secure pockets – to reduce the likelihood of losing all funds.
4. Silent Departure: Refrain from openly discussing your withdrawal or making calls about it immediately after leaving. Offenders may be listening.
A call to action
I urge you to share these measures with friends and family, particularly those who may be more vulnerable, such as the elderly.
Always Report Crime to the Police
Always report crime to the police and support prosecutions. This ensures police understand and tackle the current crime trends impacting the high street, which in turn allows the right resources and tactics to be put in place.
Dial 999 in an emergency for example when a crime is taking place, or there is someone acting suspiciously in the bank.
For non-emergencies you can call the police on 101 or alternatively, you can report a crime after the event online.