Got a story? Call 01273 544544 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Police hunt conmen over "damp walls" scam in Reigate
11:01am Monday 30th September 2013 in News
Police are hunting two men they believe tried to con a Reigate pensioner in a “sickening” scam after he visited a bank.
The men are thought to have followed the pensioner, a man aged in his late 70s, back to his home from the town centre, and then to have got inside, splashed water on walls and told him he had damp, which if he gave them money they would repair.
Luckily, the resident went to a neighbour for advice, and the would-be conmen fled empty-handed.
Detectives from East Surrey CID are appealing to shoppers and users of Reigate town centre to help them track down the men.
Investigating officer Detective Constable Portia Andrews, said: "It is sickening to think that these callous individuals may have specifically picked out their victim and followed him home, before attempting to dupe him out of his money.” The attempted distraction burglary took place on Friday, September 20.
Between noon and 2pm, the pensioner walked into Reigate town centre from his home, a sidestreet off the A217 in the vicinity of Cockshot Hill, visited a bank, and then made his way home using footpaths through Priory Park. Det Con Andrews said: "From speaking to a number of people who were in the area around the time this offence occurred, I believe the victim could have been followed by a man who may have been involved in this incident.”
She said after the pensioner spoke to his neighbour about the wet walls and the men asking for money, the suspected conmen fled quickly in the direction of Cockshot Hill.
The first man was described as white, aged around 40, about 5ft 6in tall, of average to larger build, with short dark hair and spoke with a local accent. He was wearing a light-weight top with a zip at the front. The second man was described as white with olive skin, aged 20 to 30, around 5ft 5in tall, stocky and with short dark hair. A light-blue hatchback was also seen parked in the area around the time of the offence, and it is believed this may be linked.
Det Con Andrews said: "I would ask anyone who saw anything at all suspicious in the area around the time the offence occurred, to contact officers with details, as we need to catch these men and bring them to justice.” Anyone with information is urged to contact Surrey Police on 101, quoting reference RB/13/7767, or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.