Officers are urging people to be vigilant after a number of reported thefts of bank cards outside cash machines in recent days.
Officers were first called at 11:38am on Tuesday 28 September to Asda, Ventura Retail Park, following reports of suspicious activity.
Police attended and a woman reported that a man approached her and advised that the cash machine was out of order. The man then pressed different buttons on the machine and the card was not returned.
Officers were called again at 11:43am the same day, to Morrisons, Hilmore Way, Tamworth, to reports of a similar incident.
On this occasion, another woman reported that a male approached her during a cash transaction and stated that the machine was out of order. Again, he pressed multiple buttons on the ATM and the transaction was cancelled. The card was swallowed by the machine.
Two minutes later at 11:45am, a man reported that a male approached him at a petrol pump where he stated that the card machine was out of order. The male pressed multiple buttons and the card was not returned.
Officers responded to similar reports at Tesco, Liverpool Road, Kidsgrove, at 11:35am the same day. The victim reported that two males attempted to distract people when using the cash machine.
The offender in the first three reported incidents is described as black, approximately 5ft 9in, dressed in dark clothing and wearing a baseball cap. He is believed to be around 20-years-old. The second offender is described as Asian.
Police are urging users of cash machines to: - Make sure there is no one behind them while using the machine - Use indoor machines where possible, ideally in your banking branch - Report any suspicious activity immediately - Do not use the cash machine if you feel like you are being watched or do not feel safe.
Anyone who may have seen what happened in relation to these three incidents is asked to contact Staffordshire Police on Facebook, Twitter, or call 101, quoting incident number 235 of 27 September.
Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.