Police warn public about travelling 'shoulder-surfers'

Paul Tipene.
Paul Tipene.
Police have released photographs of two men, who they say are prolific shoulder-surfing offenders, targeting unsuspecting elderly victims.

Paul Tipene and Noel Karora (both 36) are being sought by police in connection with several reported shoulder-surfing incidents in Otago and Southland in the past few weeks.

Detective Sergeant Stuart Harvey, of Invercargill, said the pair were targeting elderly victims via shoulder-surfing - where an offender watched a person input their eftpos pin number.

The offender then distracted the victim, while his accomplice stole the eftpos card.

The pair had North Island connections and one also had strong links to the South. They had travelled throughout the country and ''were quite transient''.

Noel Karora.
Noel Karora.
''The stuff they are doing is quite well planned ... Unfortunately, they are pretty good at what they do.''

The pair had been staying in hotels and motels in the South, and accommodation providers had been notified about the men, he said.

Supermarkets had also been warned about the men, who appeared to be targeting older people.

''If anyone in the public sees them, they are to ring us, ASAP,'' Det Sgt Harvey said.

The pair are believed to be travelling in a green 1994 Nissan Skyline, registration ASR626; a silver 1994 Subaru Legacy saloon, registration UW3039; or a blue 2001 Subaru Legacy saloon, registration FLD676.

Anyone with information about the pair's whereabouts is asked to call 111, or anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800 555-111.

hamish.mcneilly@odt.co.nz

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