CASHPOINT thieves have struck again in the district.

A man withdrawing money from a cash machine at Barclays Bank, in Epping High Street, was tapped on the shoulder by a suspect who indicated to him that he had dropped a fiver.

As the victim crouched down to retrieve the money, his card was taken by another suspect. Three hundred pounds was later withdrawn from his account.

The theft, on Tuesday, October 19, comes a week after police revealed a gang had been targeting cashpoints around the district with a sophisticated scamming technique.

A recent incident in Loughton High Road involved the theft of £350 from a man who was similarly distracted by a suspect's claim he had dropped money.

Essex Police crime reduction officer Tony Ellis said: “When you are using an ATM there is a tendency to focus purely on the machine as you carry out your transaction. Be aware of your surroundings. If anybody is standing so close to you that they can see your hands don't enter your pin number. Trust your instincts. If you feel uncomfortable discontinue the transaction and walk away.

“Always cover your hand when you enter your pin number.

“If someone tries to gain your attention in any way as you are carrying out a transaction ignore them. Concentrate on the machine and retrieving your bank card and cash safely as a priority. If they are genuine they will still be there when your bank card and money is safely back in your pocket.”

A video of a cashpoint scam in operation is available at