POLICE are appealing for information to trace three men in connection with a series of incidents in Loughton where bank cards were stolen from people withdrawing cash.
All the incidents occurred at a branch of Lloyds Bank in The Broadway, Debden, between Thursday, November 10 and Sunday, January 15.
There are currently six incidents being investigated.
It is believed that the victims were watched putting their pin numbers into the ATM machine outside the bank, after which they were approached by a suspect claiming that the machine was faulty.
Each victim was distracted by a suspect waving a piece of paper or leaflet in front of them, who then pressed the cancel button on the keypad and removed the bank card before walking away.
More recently the suspects forcibly removed the cards from the machines after watching victims key in their pin numbers. Three figure sums were stolen from a number of the victims.
Members of the public using cashpoints in and around the area are asked to cover their pin numbers and be vigilant while withdrawing cash.
Any incidents where cards are stolen should be reported immediately to the police and to the bank, in order for cards to be cancelled.
Anyone with information or believes they may have been the victim of a similar crime is asked to call DC Ben Elliott at Loughton CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.