Shoppers in Berkhamsted are being urged to remain vigilant following a spate of suspicious incidents and thefts in the area.
A woman aged in her 70s was sitting inside her vehicle in Waitrose car park in Berkhamsted on December 5 when she was approached by a woman holding a sign, who knocked on the window.
The sign indicated the woman was deaf and was collecting money for a ‘new centre’.
The victim handed over £5, leaving her purse on her lap as she did so. The woman then leaned close to the victim, as if to hug or kiss her, and the victim pushed her away.
It was later discovered that further cash had been stolen from her purse.
This followed an incident in Tring on December 1, when a man was approached in the car park of a Tesco by two women.
The women had a clipboard and claimed they were collecting for a charity supporting the deaf community.
As the man handed over some cash, the women became overly friendly and started touching his arm and paying him compliments, before walking away. The man noticed a short time later that his Rolex watch was missing.
Neighbourhood Sergeant Damien Hewitt said: “We understand that many people feel charitable around this time of year. It’s a sad fact that there are people out there who seek to take advantage of this good nature.
“A genuine charity collector should be wearing a badge, confirming that they are legitimate. If you do want to donate, we would recommend that you research official channels through which to do so.”
Alternatively, call the non-emergency number 101.