TWO elderly people had £500 cash taken from their accounts after thieves struck in a hospital car park.

Police are investigating the distraction type thefts which happened at the Princess Royal in Haywards Heath.

An 89-year-old woman went to use the pay and display machine there when she was approached by a man

He told her she had to get a ticket from the machine nearest to where she had parked and he would help her.

He watched her use her debit card to buy a ticket and then made off.

When the woman got home and checked her account, she found £500 has been taken and her bank card was missing from her handbag.

The man was white, 5ft 9in, aged in his mid-40s with dark brown hair. He was wearing a dark brown stripy top.

The woman was in the car park at 2.40pm on Thursday.

Twenty minutes later, a man who had also parked there was approached by a man who told him he needed to use his bank card in the pay and display machine to get a ticket. When he tried to pay for the ticket, the machine took his bank card.

The 83-year-old reported this to hospital security staff, who advised him to cancel his bank card.

Before he could do this, the card was used to withdraw £500 from a cashpoint machine.

The suspect was described as an Asian man in his 30s.

Investigator Helen Griffin said: “We believe these two incidents of theft are linked because they are similar and we believe there maybe other people who could have fallen victim to this.

"If anyone witnessed this happening or has any information please contact us.

“Our neighbourhood policing team will be patrolling the area and we are warning people to be on their guard against this ‘distraction type’ theft. If you need help using the pay and display parking machine then speak to hospital staff.”

If you can help the police investigation, ring them on 101 quoting serial 460 of 12/11.

Have you got a story for us? Email or contact us here.

Follow us on FacebookTwitter and Instagram to keep up with all the latest news.

Sign up to our newsletter to get updates sent straight to your inbox.

You can also call us on 01273 021 400.