Theives tamper with cashpoints to steal bank cards and PINs in Highgate Village

Pensioners’ bank cards are being swiped by thieves at cashpoints in Highgate Village, shopkeepers warn.

Thieves are tampering with ATMs and using hidden cameras to steal the cards and retrieve PIN numbers along Highgate High Street.

Daniel Watkins, of Brooksby Newsagents, said it is the elderly who are being targeted.

He said: “As far as we know, the police are aware it is happening, as are the community support officers, but still nothing is happening.

“The fact they have been getting away with it for so long is really upsetting, particularly with it being older people who can come across as easy targets.”

He added: “This sort of thing can have the potential to frighten the victims and other older people from coming into the village.”

Avril Castellazzo, owner of WCD furniture and design gift shop in Highgate High Street and chairwoman of Camden’s Highgate Safer Neighbourhood Panel, said: “We all have our eyes open and will report any incidents to the police.

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“We have a Safer Neighbourhood Panel meeting coming up and this will definitely be discussed.”

Camden Police, which patrols one half of the High Street, said there have been three reported bank card thefts in the last month.

Pierre Petrou, spokesman, said: “What appears to be common is a method whereby your card is trapped in the machine, then, when the cardholder leaves, the criminal removes a device, along with the card, which has been retained within.”

If you suspect a device has been placed on an ATM, do not attempt to move it and do not use the machine. Call the police or contact the bank immediately.

Haringey Police, which patrols the other half of the high street, was unavailable for comment.

Anyone with information should call Camden Police on 101.