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UPDATED: Police raise awareness of hugging scam following incident in Chichester

News   •   Apr 23, 2019 11:02 BST

Police are keen to raise awareness of a hugging scam, after an elderly woman had her purse stolen from outside a supermarket.

The victim, aged 88, was approached by an unknown woman as she got out of a taxi outside Waitrose in Via Ravenna, Chichester.

She was hugged by the stranger, who said “welcome to Waitrose”, and in doing so stole the pensioner’s purse containing cash and cards.

Investigations revealed the cards were attempted to be used at nearby Tesco Extra, in Fishbourne Road East, but the attempts were unsuccessful.

The incident occurred around 2.10pm on Saturday 23 February, and police believe it may be linked to an organised crime group.

It is also possible other similar incidents have occurred which have not been reported.

Detectives are satisfied the woman previously pictured is not a suspect and she has been eliminated from our enquiries.

If you have any information about the incident, or if you’ve been the victim of this scam, please report it online or call 101, quoting serial 126 of 27/02.