Woman has £1,000 stolen after debit card theft at South Woodford cash machine

Kate Crowe, 66, had �1,000 taken from her account after her debit card was stolen at a cash machine.

Kate Crowe, 66, had �1,000 taken from her account after her debit card was stolen at a cash machine. - Credit: Archant

A woman who had £1,000 withdrawn after her debit card was stolen at a cash machine has warned residents to be vigilant of quick-witted thieves.

Kate Crowe, 66, of Kenwood Gardens, South Woodford, had just taken out some money to purchase her family’s Christmas presents when she was targeted by a thief.

She said: “I was getting out a lot more than usual because I was going to do my Christmas shop, and I had a cap on so my peripheral vision wasn’t good.

“All of a sudden, just as the machine was about to return my card, a man leant over and banged the top of the machine.

“I was so stunned I didn’t know what was happening, and that’s when he must have grabbed my card, because I was just making sure I held onto my money.”

After Mrs Crowe confronted the man, he ran off down the street, and it was only then she realised it hadn’t been her money he had been targeting.

“Within 20 minutes nearly £1,000 had been withdrawn from my account a short way away - he must’ve watched me put my PIN code in.”

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She immediately reported the incident to the police and contacted her bank to cancel the stolen card.

Fortunately, NatWest accepted the withdrawal as fraudulent and returned her money.

“My message would be, don’t use these cash machines,” warned Mrs Crowe.

“Go inside where you’re on camera and withdraw your money in person so you’re less vulnerable.”

A Metropolitan Police spokeswoman confirmed they were investigating Mrs Crowe’s case.

“Police are investigating a reported theft in George Lane, South Woodford,” she told the Recorder.

“A woman was using a cash machine in the road at about 9.20am on Wednesday, November 30, when her debit card was stolen by an unknown man.

“The suspect has been described as an Asian male, of stocky build, aged about 25.

“He spoke with a London accent and was wearing a baseball cap and glasses.

“Anyone with information can call police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”