Police have warned about a woman targeting people with a fake charity collection.
Hampshire officers are investigating a series of robberies and attempted robberies in both Chandler’s Ford and Winchester in recent months are asking local residents of these areas to remain vigilant.
It comes after a woman purporting to be collecting money for charity has been seeking to target elderly residents, before attempting to commit a number of robberies.
On one occasion, an unknown woman approached a vehicle on Oakmount Road in Chandler’s Ford on Tuesday 12 October and suggested that she was collecting money for a number of deaf-related charities. The victim obliged and proceeded to offer a donation, but had unfortunately dropped the monies in their car.
As the victim picked up the money, the woman reached into the vehicle and reportedly stole a quantity of cash from a wallet before fleeing the scene.
There have also been similar reports of a woman acting in a suspicious manner and targeting elderly residents in local car parks while posing as a charity worker in the Winchester area.
The woman has been described as white, slim build, approximately 5ft 4ins to 5ft 6ins tall and has black tied back hair with a centre parting. She has been seen on CCTV wearing glasses with black and clear frames, a distinctive silver coloured gilet with a hood and pockets on the front, with a long sleeved top underneath, wearing jeans and black shoes and is often carrying a black handbag.
Officers believe that she may have a European accent and could be of Romanian heritage.
A spokesperson for Hampshire Police said: “If you have seen this woman we would urge you to report sightings directly to us by calling 101 or by reporting this via the Hampshire Constabulary website. If she approaches you to claim that she is collecting money for charity; either simply walk away or decline the request.
“If you are approached by someone asking you to donate to charity, and you have any concerns about them being legitimate, you can request that they can confirm their identity and the charitable organisation they are working on behalf of.
“They should be able to provide you with the registered charity number, identification provided by the charitable organisation and a licence provided by the local council to allow them to carry out the collections. If they are a genuine official person they will not mind you verifying their identification.
Alternatively, if you’re still in doubt, tell the collector you’ll donate directly to the charity yourself. As always, if you believe that you have been a victim of crime, please call 101 or report it to us via the Hampshire Constabulary website. If it is an emergency, please dial 999 immediately.”