Police in Feltham are warning people not to withdraw large sums of money after an elderly woman was targeted in a broad daylight theft.
Officers in the Feltham West Neighbourhood Team have launched an appeal for witnesses and information following a theft from the 86-year-old in the High Street.
As part of the appeal, they are urging people to take a family or friend with them if a large amount of money needs to be withdrawn from the bank.
The "nasty incident" has caused the pensioner great distress and has had an impact on her confidence and independence, police said.
The victim had taken out a large amount of cash at Barclays Bank, High Street, Feltham and placed it in an envelope before putting it into her shopping trolley.
She left the bank and walked along the High Street to the nearby Tesco where she noticed the money had gone.
The incident took place on Friday, February 24, at around 12.30pm.
Police have said it is not known when the money was lifted from her trolley and the victim does not recall anyone near her or being distracted at the time.
Further enquiries indicated the pensioner may have been watched by an unknown lone female loitering in the bank whilst she was being served and then followed her towards Tesco, police said.
Investigating officer PC Jody Whitehouse said: “This is a nasty incident in which this vulnerable victim was deliberately targeted by unscrupulous persons.
"Although thefts at banks are rare on the High Street I would like to advise members of the public to take a companion with them if they are withdrawing large sums of money and ensure that they do not allow anyone to distract them.
"When possible I strongly advise members of public not withdraw large sums of money, instead make a bank transfer or request a cheque.”
Anyone who was in Barclays Bank at lunch time on February 24 and witnessed any suspicious behaviour should call PC Whitehouse at Feltham Police Station on 101 quoting reference 0504066/17.
Alternatively call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
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