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Hunt for man and woman suspected of card theft at Bishop's Cleeve care home

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: October 23, 2013

  • SUSPECTS: CCTV images of the couple police want to talk to about the theft

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POLICE are hunting for a man and woman suspected of stealing bank cards and taking more than £8,000 from a housekeeper at a nursing home.

Officers have released CCTV of the pair after the cards were taken from the handbag of a woman at Cleeve Hill Nursing Home.

The theft happened between 7.20am and 10am as the victim, a 46-year-old woman from Bishop's Cleeve, was going about her morning duties at the home in the village.

She had left her handbag in the laundry room and it is believed the thief or thieves sneaked in there to steal the cards.

Attempts were made to use the cards at Asda supermarket in Gloucester and at a mobile phone shop in Gloucester on the day of the theft.

An item was then bought for £329 at a shop in Stratford-upon-Avon, and a total of £8,000 withdrawn from two banks, Lloyds TSB and Barclays, in the town using the stolen cards.

The victim, who asked not to be named, said she realised her cards had been stolen only when she received a phone call from Lloyds TSB late morning on August 31, the day of the theft.

She quickly cancelled her cards, but by then the damage had already been done.

"I was shocked, to say the least," she said. "I had left my handbag in the laundry room the same as any other day and thought nothing of it.

"I couldn't believe it when I got a call telling me there had been suspicious activity on my cards."

She said she had no reason to believe she had been the victim of a crime before receiving the call from the bank, having seen nobody suspicious that morning.

Security was tight at the home, she said, and she had no idea how the thief or thieves managed to get their hands on her cards.

She said: "We have a lady on reception every day of the week and we have security codes to get in and out of the nursing home and we have CCTV cameras.

"I certainly did not see anything or anybody.

"They could have got the cards when I was going in and out of the nursing home, but I don't remember seeing anything."

The victim, who has worked at Cleeve Hill for 15 years, has since had the stolen money returned to her account by Lloyds TSB and Barclays.

She said the experience was traumatic and urged people to be careful with cards.

"I would say to people to be very careful and very vigilant with what they have got," she said.

The CCTV footage was captured in a shop in Stratford-upon-Avon.

A Gloucestershire Constabulary spokeswoman said: "Since the crime was reported police have been trying to find the individual or individuals responsible for the theft and are eager to speak to a man and a woman seen on CCTV who may be able to help them with their inquiries.

"Anyone who recognises this man and woman, or who has any information about the theft, is asked to call Gloucestershire police on 101, quoting incident number 327 of August 31. Or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111

OPINION, P10

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