Officers in Bournemouth are appealing to the public to help identify a man who went on a spending spree after finding a vulnerable man’s wallet on a bus.

The victim, a local man aged in his 50s, lost his wallet when he was travelling on the number 24 bus toward Westbourne on Thursday 7 January. It contained a debit card and the card’s pin number.

Over the course of 24 hours, around £3,250 was spent on the debit card on 21 occasions in shops spanning from Poole to Boscombe.

When the victim noticed these fraudulent transactions he contacted his bank and his card was cancelled. The matter was then referred to police on Friday 8 January.

Police Constable Chris Rawlings, of Bournemouth police, said: “Following initial enquiries I am now in a position to release an image of the suspect and I am appealing to the public to help identify the man pictured.

“Anyone who is able to identify the suspect should contact me on 101.

“It is essential that if you do lose your wallet or bank cards that you ensure you contact your bank and cancel them immediately. While it may be difficult to remember a pin number it is very important to change it to something more memorable and memorise it. Never write it down or keep it alongside your card.”

Witnesses and anyone with information should call Dorset Police in confidence on 101 quoting occurrence number 55160004480. Alternatively, call the free and anonymous Crimestoppers line on 0800 555 111 where mobile phone tariffs may apply.

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