Elderly woman fleeced of £1,000 in distraction ordeal by Tesco trolley scammers


Lola Sledmere, 88, from Little Chalfont, had her pin stolen by a trio of thieves at Tesco in Amersham, Buckinghamshire, in a complex distraction ordeal which left her traumatized

Lola Sledmere who had her pin stolen at Tesco in Amersham, pictured outside Tesco Amersham, Bucks

An 88-year-old woman had £1,000 stolen from several cashpoints, as far as 47 miles from her home, over two days.

The horrific thievery took place after she was distracted by a man when she went to return her trolley to the car park of Tesco superstore in Amersham, Buckinghamshire.

She believes another criminal snuck into her car, a few yards away, and stole her card.

According to CCTV taken inside the supermarket, a third criminal was loitering behind her, and watched her insert her PIN at the checkout.

She thinks the trio worked as a team to fleece her in the shocking broad daylight theft.







A closeup view of an atm facade with an illuminated sceen and keypad and a wad of british pound banknotes being withdrawn from the cash slot
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Since the incident Lola, who is a widow, has struggled to sleep and has become wary of leaving her home in Little Chalfont, Buckinghamshire.

The mother of four told Express.co.uk: “I have been told this activity is rife, particularly in some supermarket car parks in and around London.

“It’s affected me very much. I have been struggling to sleep because I think about it all the time.

“It is just so clear in my mind. I have felt sad and worried, and stupid to be honest. It is just very upsetting.

“I have been very very upset and I no longer trust people.

“It was absolutely disgusting.”







Thief with smartphone steals information from a bank ATM
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The money is yet to be reimbursed into Ms Sledmere’s account although police are investigating the theft.

Ms Sledmere, who worked in psychology, added: “Of course, it has impacted me financially too.

“I am a pensioner. I have a state pension but I’m not well off at all.

“I live alone, so of course it is going to affect me financially.

“I have seven grandchildren who all need money and it is upsetting I can’t help them at the moment.”

After Ms Sledmere paid for her shopping, it’s thought she was followed out of the supermarket and to her car by the man who saw her PIN.







The gran-of-seven said the ordeal has deeply upset her
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She put her shopping and handbag in her vehicle, left it unlocked as she turned to push the trolley to the bay just yards away.

But another man spoke to her at the bay, asking for directions to Chesham, which is less than three miles away.

Ms Sledmere said: “I thought this was strange.

“I thought he was being a bit stupid actually as there are plenty of signs for Chesham and it’s only around the corner. But I offered help.

“Someone previously must have looked over my shoulder and got my PIN number when I was paying at the checkout.

“The checkout was the very one closest to the enclosure where people pay for their own groceries so it is pretty open and easy just for someone to stand there and not to be noticed.

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“I got to my car, put my shopping away and I was near the trolley bay so went to return the trolley.

“I hadn’t locked my car and thought I didn’t need to because I was so very, very near the bay. It was yards away.

“I thought the man was just waiting to use my trolley but he stood there and asked me the way to Chesham.

“I felt secure because I hadn’t got my handbag on me, which he could have snatched.

“I did notice him looking over my shoulder quite a lot, which was odd, but I went back to my car and drove home.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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