SURREY Police have warned Lingfield residents to remain vigilant following a number of recent fraud offences where elderly residents have been targeted.
On Tuesday 19 January a man knocked on the door of a property in Lingfield and told the elderly occupant there was a problem with the drains next door, and she would have to pay £5000 for them to bring in heavy machinery to fix it.
He arranged for a taxi to take the lady to her bank but fortunately a cashier became suspicious of the customer’s request to withdraw a large amount of cash, informed her it was a scam and then phoned the police.
Two similar incidents have also been reported in Caterham.
Inspector Dan Gutierrez said: “These offences are particularly despicable as the offenders target innocent elderly members of our community. Fortunately in all of these cases no money was handed over but it could so easily have been a different story.
“We all have a part to play in preventing these offences and I would ask anyone who has contact with those who may fall victim to these fraudsters to take every opportunity they can to assist.
“Our advice is don’t give personal details, bank cards or money to someone you don’t know. Simply hang up if they telephone or close the door if they call at your house. Fraudsters use a variety of tactics to appear plausible such as imitating authorities such as the police, council or bank and they can be very convincing. The police or your bank will NEVER phone you asking you to withdraw money, give your PIN or arrange to collect your money or bank card in any way. If anyone asks you to do any of these things, it’s a scam.”
Further information on protecting you and your family from fraud can be found on the Surrey Police website: http://www.surrey.police.uk/keeping-safe/protecting-you-and-your-family/fraud
Posted in Crime, Police Tagged with: elderly, POlice warning, scam
Police are appealing for witnesses to an assault in East Grinstead on Monday night (25 January).
Officers were called to Lingfield Road, East Grinstead at around 7.25pm on Monday to a report of an assault.
A 56-year-old local man who confronted two men he believed were breaking into his van, was assaulted and suffered a suspected broken nose and a hand injury.
The two suspects who are described as white men, both middle-aged with dark hair, and of average height and build drove, off in a dark-coloured saloon vehicle.
Two Milwaukee red and white impact drivers were stolen from the victim’s van.
If anybody has any information on the suspects, or the stolen items, please contact Crawley investigations hub quoting serial 1306 of 25/01.
Photo Roy Henderson
Posted in Crime, Police Tagged with: assault, east grinstead, Lingfield Road, police, witness appeal
OPERATION Ribbon, the Sussex Police campaign to crack down on domestic abuse, dealt with 1928 calls related to abuse over the Christmas and New Year period, six more than the previous year.
There were 915 recorded crimes (compared with 766 last year) and so far there have been 532 arrests (compared with 557 last year) with further investigations under way.
There were also 1133 incidents (compared with 1163 last year) which did not result in recorded crimes but which still resulted in referrals to multi-agency support and assessment.
Detective Chief Inspector Ali Eaton said; “Whilst the numbers of offenders appears to have dropped off, there was an increase during the period in charge rates showing 23% of alleged offenders charged, cautioned or dealt with by community resolution as opposed to just over 12% in 2014.
“However, these figures show only part of the story for Operation Ribbon.”
And feedback from victims was very positive, said Det Ch Insp Eaton.
During the whole of December 265 domestic abuse-related crimes were reported by male victims across Sussex. This equates to 28% of all reported domestic abuse crime, and clearly underlines the importance of ensuring all hard-to-reach victims are considered.
Ali Eaton said; “One important area of learning which the campaign has highlighted is the need to consider under reported areas of domestic abuse such as male victims, same sex relationships and elder abuse. This year our media campaign focused on male abuse and the force also received positive feedback from the public for our work in this area”.
“There may be only one chance when people reach out to us, so we aim to ensure that we always put the needs of the victim first, to help people with rebuilding their lives.”
For advice and support in Sussex visit www.sussex.police.uk or call 101 or 01273 470101.
To join in the Twitter debate, use #talktous.
To find local support and help near to you visit www.safespacesussex.org.uk
Photo top: Ali Eaton with a message board highlighting the plight of male victims of domestic abuse
Posted in Crime, Police
A man who was treated at the Queen Victoria hospital burns for has been found guilty today of trying to kill his wife and son by setting fire to their nail bar business in Hailsham last year.
Ducbac Vuong, 52, known as Sammi, was found guilty of two counts of attempted murder at Hollywood Nails in High Street, Hailsham, on March 4 last year.
A jury at Lewes Crown Court (sitting at Hove) heard that emergency services were called to the business at 5.17pm to reports of a fire and a man, woman and baby suffering severe burns. The fire had damaged the nail bar itself, the staff area and the upstairs flat.
It is believed that Vuong attempted to kill his wife, Tram, known as Naomi, who was 21, and their son, who was five months at the time, and seriously injured himself by starting the fire with acetone liquid. The liquid was poured and ignited by Vuong, blocking all the access points from the nail bar and upstairs accommodation, where the family lived.
All three were badly injured with burns and were taken to hospital to be treated.
Vuong who suffered 47 per cent burns to his legs, chest and hands, was hospitalised for four months and originally given only a 50 per cent chance of surviving.
Naomi and the child also suffered severe burns and have undergone months of treatment.
Vuong has always denied the offences and claimed he had no idea how the fire started.
However CCTV showed him shutting the door to the nail bar after his wife tried to raise the alarm and giving a thumbs-up to passers-by who had tried to help.
Body worn video, captured by officers first on the scene which was shown to the jury, caught conversations between the 52-year-old and Naomi in their native Vietnamese. The 22-year-old is heard to say “You can kill me, how can you kill our little one?”
Detective Sergeant Dave Tye, who led the investigation, said: “Vuong has claimed to be the hero in suffering burns while putting the fire out but it was clear to us that he had set fire to the nail bar in an attempt to kill those inside at the time.
“This may have been a minute of madness as he quickly put the flames out; however he, his wife and child had all suffered injuries by that time and his actions could have killed them all.
“The injuries they have all suffered are life-long and will require on-going treatment. They are all lucky to be alive. This is a very sad case for all involved. We carried out a thorough investigation and are pleased a jury has found Vuong guilty of these offences.
“We believe Naomi has been subjected to domestic abuse at the hands of Vuong and we are determined to bring anyone who commits these offences to justice. We take abuse – and it might not always be physical but also emotional – very seriously and would urge anyone who experiences this or knows anyone who is, to come and speak to us.”
Vuong was remanded in custody for psychiatric reports and will be sentenced on February 29.
Video of Vuong in the shop at the time of the fire can be viewed at https://youtu.be/MsSHccijhJo
Posted in Crime, News, Police
SUSSEX Police have issued a fresh appeal for information about a jewel raid on Goodwood House, the home of the Earl and Countess of March, amid fears that the historic treasures stolen may be broken up for sale.
A large amount of jewellery, including historic heirlooms worth more than £700,000 were taken during the break-in at around 4.30am on Wednesday (January 13).
Detective Inspector Till Sanderson said: “This was a frightening ordeal and I pay tribute to the courage of Lord and Lady March.
“The intruder broke in after scaling a ladder to an upstairs window, and his activity disturbed Lady March, who went to investigate. She disturbed the man, who was alone, and he pushed her and struck Lord March on the head, causing an injury to his ear.
“Lady March was then forced to open a safe and the man helped himself to jewellery. The couple were bound before the robber escaped with the items.”
The police were called by a member of staff at around 6.30am when he arrived at work.
Detective Inspector Till Sanderson said: “They are devastated at the loss of these treasured items, many of which are irreplacable. We are making a nationwide appeal in a bid for information and to trace stolen jewellery. Forensic teams are working with detectives to investigate the circumstances and we are appealing for anyone who saw any suspicious activity during that night up until 7am or in the previous week to contact us.
“We are doing all we can try to trace the stolen treasures, liaising with auction houses, stately homes, dealers and those with specialist knowledge. I am appealing to anyone who may know anything to contact detectives on 101 quoting Operation Forster or alternatively you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 (www.crimestoppers-uk.org).”
The historic items, with huge sentimental value, include an 1820 diamond tiara, worth in the region of £400,000; an antique diamond necklace from the first half of the 19th century, worth in the region of £200,000; and an emerald intaglio and diamond ring from 1800, engraved with Duchess’s coronet and monogram CL for Louise de Keroualle, mistress of Charles II. More than 40 items were stolen including emerald, diamond and sapphire rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces as well as antique Rolex and Girard Perregaux watches.
A 26-year-old man from Hampshire has been arrested on suspicion of robbery and has been bailed until February while investigations continue.
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: £700000, Goodwood House, historic treasures, Jewel raid
POLICE investigating the theft of historic jewellery from Goodwood House, the Sussex home of the Earl of March, have made a nationwide appeal for information which could help trace the stolen treasures.
Historic heirlooms, including a diamond tiara, diamond necklaces and several high-value watches worth nearly £700,000 were stolen during the early hours of Wednesday (13 January).
The historic items, with huge sentimental value, include an 1820 diamond tiara, worth in the region of £400,000; an antique diamond necklace from the first half of the 19th century, worth in the region of £200,000; and an emerald intaglio and diamond ring from 1800, engraved with Duchess’s coronet and monogram CL, for Louise de Keroualle, the mistress of Charles II.
More than 40 items were stolen including emerald, diamond and sapphire rings, earrings, bracelets and necklaces as well as antique Rolex and Girard Perregaux watches.
Detective Inspector Till Sanderson said: “The theft of these beautiful and treasured items have left the victims Lord and Lady March devastated at their loss.
“An intruder broke into the house sometime after midnight on Wednesday (13 January) and took thousands of pounds worth of jewels and watches, many of which are irreplaceable. Forensic teams are working with detectives to investigate the circumstances and we are appealing for anyone who saw any suspicious activity during that night up until 7am or in the previous days to contact us.
“Working with Lord and Lady March we are doing all we can try to trace the stolen treasures, liaising with auction houses, stately homes, dealers and those with specialist knowledge. I am appealing to anyone who may know anything to contact detectives on 101 quoting Operation Forster or alternatively you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111 (www.crimestoppers-uk.org).
A 26-year-old man from Hampshire has been arrested in relation to this incident and is currently in custody.
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: Earl of March, Goodwood House, jewellery, theft
IN February Sussex Police will be launching their new monthly fraud newsletter Keep your money safe in partnership with Sussex Neighbourhood Watch.
It will contain the latest info on scams and tips to keep yourself and your family safe.
But in the meantime check out their latest advice video here.
And remember – never part with money or give bank details to a stranger at the door or on the phone.
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: film, fraud, Sussex Police
A network of organised criminals committing fraud offences in excess of £310,000 has been sentenced to over 18 years in jail.
Their offences involved a total of 34 victims across the south of England.
Ten people pleaded to, or were found guilty of, a variety of fraud and money-laundering offences and were sentenced at Lewes Crown Court on Friday, 8 January.
Operation Knock, organised by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit investigated incidents which took place between October 2013 and September 2014 whereby victims had been told that their neighbours’ property had been flooded with raw sewage originating from under their property.
The victims were told that they needed to hire specialist equipment to resolve the issue and to pay a deposit which would then be refunded.
Lead investigator DC Matt Wilson, from SEROCU’s Regional Fraud Team said: “Friday’s sentences reflect the nature of the offences this sophisticated network took part in by intentionally targeting the most vulnerable people.
“This should act as a deterrent to anyone else tempted to earn some extra money by turning a blind eye to these crimes, we will investigate and bring them before the court.”
Photo, clockwise from top left are: George Wickens, James Cavanagh, Paul Bryson, Martin Suckling and Martin Jones.
George Wickens Junior, aged 24, of Iveagh Crescent, Newhaven, was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and six years’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime, to run concurrently.
George Wickens, aged 52, of Batts Bridge Road, Maresfield, was sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to commit fraud.
James Cavanagh, aged 25, of Parklands, Maresfield, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and 30 months’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime, to run concurrently. He was also sentenced to 12 months’ imprisonment for money laundering, to run consecutively.
Daryl Hayley, aged 23, of Beeches Way, Faygate, received a six months’ suspended sentence and 80 hours unpaid labour for one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime.
Paul Bryson, aged 24, of Old Farm Close, Haywards Heath, was sentenced to two years’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime.
Alfie Robinson, aged 23, of Chanctonbury Road, Burgess Hill, was sentenced to six months’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime and six months’ imprisonment for breach of a suspended sentences, to run consecutively.
Martin Jones, aged 26, of Newbury Road, Crawley, was sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime and six months’ imprisonment for breach of a suspended sentences, to run consecutively.
Lee Farrington, aged 22, of Churchill Road, Lewes, was sentenced to 14 months’ imprisonment for one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime and 14 months’ imprisonment for a second count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime, to run concurrently.
Martin Suckling, aged 52, of Churchill Road, Smallfield, was sentenced to two years for each of the three counts of acquiring criminal property, to run concurrently.
Angelia Wickens, aged 31, of Parklands, Maresfield, received a six months suspended sentence for one count of conspiracy to launder the proceeds of crime.
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: 18 years, Fraudsters, sewage, Sputh East Regrional Organised Crime Unit
A British Transport Police (BTP) officer who crashed his car moments after leaving a Christmas party has been convicted of drink-driving.
James Smoothy was arrested after police received reports a white BMW had lost control and crashed at Copthorne Roundabout at about 2.30am on 15 December.
The 26-year-old, who was based with the BTP at Gatwick, had been at his partner’s work Christmas party at the Copthorne Hotel, where he consumed up to seven glasses of wine.
But following an argument with her, he got into his car and clipped the roundabout, causing him to crash.
Smoothy fully co-operated with police and apologised for his actions, and was charged with driving with 98mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system.
He pleaded guilty at Crawley Magistrates’ Court on 8 January and was disqualified from driving for 24 months. He was also ordered to pay a £400 fine, £85 costs and a £40 victim surcharge.
Chief Inspector Phil Nicholas said: “Smoothy made the stupid decision of getting behind the wheel of his car having consumed a large quantity of alcohol. The danger of such actions was clearly evident in the resulting circumstances. Both airbags in the car had deployed and he was fortunate to escape unhurt.
“Smoothy was fully co-operative with police, who were contacted by a member of the public who witnessed the crash. Nevertheless, his actions were both reckless and irresponsible, and he has been dealt with by magistrates accordingly.
“Throughout December, we have seen those who are prepared to drink and drive across a broad range of society, from young adults to pensioners, and from the unemployed to working professionals. This conviction goes to show that no one is exempt from the law.”
Smoothy has since resigned from his position at the British Transport Police.
A British Transport Police (BTP) spokesman said: “We expect the highest standards of conduct from all our officers.
“The officer involved has left BTP voluntarily prior to a full disciplinary investigation taking place.”
People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug driving or visit http://www.operationcrackdown.co.uk/.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 (http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/).
If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs call 999.
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: conviction, Drink driving, Gatwick, Operation Dragonfly British transport police, police officer
A car parked in Maypole Road, Ashurst Wood, had its rear offside window smashed sometime between 8pm on Tuesday 5 January and 8.10am on Wednesday 6 January.
East Grinstead police have asked anyone who saw anything suspicious to contact them on 101.
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: Ashurst Wood, smashed car window
AN appeal has been put out for sightings of a white van which was stolen off site at 10.50am in East Grinstead today.
The van looks liked the one pictured above, but its registration number is REG GX63 XSL – if you see it, inform the police on 101.
Posted in Business, Crime, News Tagged with: Appeal, east grinstead, electrical, stolen van
POLICE are appealing for witnesses to an assault on a 25-year-old man from East Grinstead who was attacked in London Road on Christmas Day.
The victim was walking along London Road at 3am when he was struck in the face and suffered a broken jaw.
Anyone who saw what happened or may have other information about this incident is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org
or phone 101, quoting serial 179 of 25/12.
Alternatively they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers without having to leave their name on 0800 555 111 (www.crimestoppers-uk.org
A 23-year-old local man has been questioned in relation to the offence and enquiries are continuing.
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: Christmas Day assault, police appeal, witnesses
FELBRIDGE councillor Kenneth Harwood has forwarded a warning about a convincing telephone scam reported in the village.
The victim received a phone call purporting to come from BT, informing him that he was about to be disconnected because of an unpaid bill.
The caller then demanded an immediate payment £31, saying that the cost would rise £118 for reconnection at a later date.
Despite having an obviously foreign accent, the scammer claimed the very English name John Peacock and when questioned said he could “prove” he was from BT by cutting off the targeted victim’s phone.
He apparently did this, and then rang again asking for an immediate credit card payment, but when told that his victim had no intention of paying, he hung up.
A subsequent call to the police revealed that the caller had appeared to cut off the phone line by simply staying on the line but turning it to mute, which meant that the line was engaged and his proposed victim could not dial out.
He then rang back and asked for money.
The scam is as simple as it is convincing and many people have fallen for it.
So if you have a suspicious phone call, ring the police, do not ring any number that the caller has supplied, and make any calls out on your mobile phone. Then leave your landline off the hook until the caller hangs up and the dialling tone returns.
Posted in Crime, News Tagged with: Kenneth Harwood, phone scam
EAST Grinstead residents will have the opportunity to improve CCTV coverage in the town by sharing their views at a special consultation event on Saturday 9 January.
Representatives from Sussex Police and Mid Sussex District Council’s Crime Prevention team will be at East Grinstead library from 10.30am until 12 noon on 9 January to talk about the future of CCTV in the town centre and answer any questions local people may have.
The existing CCTV cameras in East Grinstead are in need of upgrading and Mid Sussex District Council, working with the Town Council, is considering the introduction of two additional CCTV cameras at King George’s Field, and in the Holtye Avenue.
The public consultation will help to ascertain the views of residents and ensure that the cameras are where they are needed most.
Monitored 24 hours a day, seven days a week by Sussex Police, they play a vital role in helping to prevent crime and disorder, reducing the fear of crime and increasing public safety for both residents and visitors.
“Our consultation has been running online for a few months now but we want to give East Grinstead residents the chance to talk with us face to face about what they think is the best use of CCTV cameras in our town,” said Councillor Norman Webster, Cabinet Member for Health and Community.
“We’re really keen to know what people think so please come along and share your local knowledge with us.”
The Council carefully follows the Surveillance Code of Practice to ensure that all CCTV cameras are necessary, operated appropriately, do not negatively impact on the privacy of local people and are suitably located.
Residents who cannot attend the East Grinstead drop-in consultation event can still view all the information and comment online at www.midsussex.gov.uk/consultation.
Posted in Council, Crime, News Tagged with: cameras, CCTV, public consultation
|A car parked in a car park on St Johns Road, East Grinstead, had its roof damaged sometime between 9.30pm on Thursday 17 December and 11.30am on Friday 18 December.
Sometime between 6pm on Sunday 20 December and 8.30am on Monday 21 December a sat nav was stolen from the glove compartment of a vehicle parked on Church lane, East Grinstead.
A BMW 5 Series was stolen from a drive in Chantlers Close between midday and 6.30pm on Wednesday 16 December.
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: crime report, December 2015
A car valeter from East Grinstead is among the 137 motorists arrested since the start of the Police crackdown on drink and drug driving in the run-up to Christmas.
Aleksiev Zhivkov, 35, a car valeter, of Knole Grove in East Grinstead, was arrested in Sussex Road, Haywards Heath, on Sunday (20 December) and charged with driving with 54mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in his system, driving with no licence and driving with no insurance.
He is due to appear before Crawley Magistrates’ Court on 14 January.
A total of 137 arrests have now been made since the campaign launched on 1 December. Of these, 72 drivers have been charged.
Chief Inspector Andy Gooch said: “With Christmas just around the corner, we will be continuing to target motorists who think it is ok to drive while under the influence of drink or drugs. While we encourage people to enjoy the festivities, it is important that they do so without putting their own lives – and others’ – in jeopardy.
“Such actions can lead to devastating consequences, and we are committed to ensuring the roads in Sussex are safe during the festive period and throughout the year.
“The message, as always, is clear – drink or drive: never both.”
People in Sussex can text officers on 65999 with the details of people they suspect of drink or drug driving or visit www.operationcrackdown.co.uk.
If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs call 999.
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: drink/drug driving crackdown, Operation Dragonfly
TOOLS and cash were stolen from the East Grinstead Tyre Service after a break-in sometime between 4pm on Saturday 5 December and 1pm on Sunday 6 December.
And a satnav was stolen between midnight on Wednesday 2 December and 11am Thursday 3 December from a vehicle on Lancaster Drive.
- If you have seen or heard anything related to these incidents please contact Sussex Police email email@example.com, call 101 or contact Crime Stoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Photo top Roy Henderson
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: break in, EAst Grinstead Tyre Service
SUSSEX Police have issued photos of two men they want to speak to in connection with the theft of a £1000 diamond ring from a Crawley jewellers.
The suspected thieves struck in Warren James Jewellers in The Martletts at around 2.15pm on Friday, 4 December, making off with the 9ct white gold ring with a square cluster of diamonds.
Anyone who recognises the men or who has any information about the incident is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101 quoting serial 947 of 07/11. Alternatively, you can call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 (www.crimestoppers-uk.org).
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: diamond ring, jewellers, stolen
A total of 45 drivers have been arrested in Sussex since the Police Christmas anti drink/drug campaign launched on 1 December.
Of these, 22 have been charged and bailed to appear at court.
Among them is Hungarian Gabor Varga, a 35-year-old painter of Sea Place in Goring.
He was arrested after officers noticed a black Vauxhall Vivaro being driven erratically in Brighton Road, Lancing, at about 2.45am on 7 December.
He was remanded in custody to appear at Crawley Magistrates’ Court the following day and charged with drink-driving having 41 micrograms of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath in his system. The legal limit is 35.
Varga pleaded guilty and was disqualified from driving for 12 months. He was also fined £120 and ordered to pay further costs of £255.
A further 21 motorists have also been charged as part of the Christmas campaign.
You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 (http://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/).
To keep up to date with officers looking for drink or drug drivers, follow #opdragonfly on Twitter.
If you know someone is driving while over the limit or after taking drugs call 999.
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: drink/driving campaing, Operation Dragonfly
SOUTH East Water has warned householders not to fall for doorstep scams by people claiming to work for “the Water Board” who ask for access to their homes this Christmas to check for leaks.
Steve George, Customer Services Director at South East Water, said: “Unfortunately, Christmas can be a time when opportunist thieves take advantage, knowing there are new and valuable gifts in the home.
“These criminals can be very believable and persuasive, and at this time of year we all want to think the best of people.
“Quite often, they use the phrase ‘Water Board’ which should immediately arouse suspicion because this is not a phrase that has been used for many years.”
But it’s not just the elderly who need to be on the look out says Steve.
“You don’t have to be vulnerable to fall victim to a bogus caller, so we want to remind everyone of the simple steps to stay safe this Christmas.”
Tips to keep bogus callers out include:
- Attach your door chain before answering your door
- Always check the identification card of anyone claiming to be an employee from a utility
- Look at their clothing as all water company staff and contractors’ uniforms will have company logos
- Check for the South East Water van. Contractor vans will also have South East Water logos
- Set up a password on your account which all staff will use when knocking on the door
Steve continued: “If members of our field teams or contractor, Clancy Docwra, need to enter your home, they will be happy to wait while you check their ID.
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: bogus callers, South East Water, Water Board
A network of organised criminals committing fraud offences in excess of £310,000 has been unravelled following an investigation by the South East Regional Organised Crime Unit (SEROCU).
The fraud offences involved a total of 34 victims across the south including Crawley and Oxted.
Ten people pleaded to, or were found guilty of, a variety of fraud and money laundering offences*.
Operation Knock investigated incidents between October 2013 and September 2014 whereby victims had been told that their neighbours’ property had been flooded with raw sewage originating from under their property. The victims were told that they needed to hire specialist equipment to resolve the issue and to pay a deposit which would then be refunded.
Lead investigator DC Matt Wilson, from SEROCU’s Regional Fraud Team said: “This group were part of a more sophisticated network that intentionally targeted the most vulnerable people.
“Once they found someone that would give them money they repeatedly targeted them with a barrage of lies and deceit to extract further funds. The people convicted have all admitted, or been convicted of, arranging these offences, or allowing their bank accounts to be used to receive and dissipate the funds from these crimes. Without these willing participants or others like them these offences could not occur
“This should act as a deterrent to anyone else tempted to earn some extra money by turning a blind eye to these crime, we will investigate and bring them before the court.”
All ten people are due to be sentenced over two days on Friday 11 December and 8 January 2016, probably at Lewes Crown Court.
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: fraud, SEROCU, ten
SURREY police have appealing for information following a distraction burglary at a property in Cottenhams, Lingfield on Thursday 3 December.
The incident happened at around 9.20pm when a man knocked on the front door of an elderly woman’s property claiming to be from the Water Board and said he needed to check a leak coming from the victim’s property through to next door’s.
When inside the property, the man removed a quantity of cash from the victim’s handbag before making off.
The suspect is described as a white man in his 40s and around 5 feet 8 inches tall.
Detective Constable, Julie Daubeney, said, “If you have seen anybody acting suspiciously in the area or think you have been a victim of a crime of a similar nature please contact police on 101.”
DC Daubeney, continues: “I would advise residents to stay vigilant and if they see anybody acting suspiciously around their property or neighbourhood to report it.
“Always challenge callers for proof of identity, a genuine caller will never mind taking the time to show you their identification.”
If you have any information call Surrey Police on 101 quoting, 45150110090. Alternatively you can report it anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers by calling 0800 555 111.
Surrey Police provides the following advice:
While most callers to your home are genuine, some are not. Some unscrupulous people, known as ‘bogus callers’ or ‘distraction burglars’, may try to trick their way inside to steal cash or valuables.
Here are some actions you can take to avoid doorstep crime:
Spotting bogus officials
Bear the following in mind if you suspect that an ‘official’ caller may not be genuine:
- Water company officials do not need to access your home to test water pressure or repair a leak
- If they do need to access your home, they will write to you to arrange a suitable appointment
- Gas or electricity company officials expect you to check their identity before letting them in. They don’t mind waiting why you do so
- If you have any doubts, don’t let the caller in. Telephone the company to confirm they are genuine. Use a number from a utility bill and not one the caller gives you
- Set up a password system with your utility providers. This is a free service.
Bogus workmen can be very persistent in persuading you that urgent work needs to be carried out on your property. Our advice is:
- Never agree to have work done by someone who turns up on your doorstep. Say no.
- If you home is in need of repair, use reputable workmen recommended by family and friends.
Other bogus callers
- Be wary of people who knock on your door asking for a drink, looking for lost pets or asking to use your telephone.
- Be cautious of unfamiliar youngsters saying their ball is in your garden. They may be attempting gain access to your home or trying to distract you.
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: Distraction burglary, Lingfield
POLICE are appealing for witnesses to a burglary at a property in Tanyard Lane, Chelwood Gate, between 11am and 5pm on Saturday, 7 November.
Several items of jewellery were stolen, together with Second World War medals and an OBE.
Anyone who saw or heard anything suspicious, or who may have other information, is asked to email email@example.com or phone 101, quoting serial 1048 of 07/11.
Alternatively, they can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, www.crimestoppers-uk.org
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: Burglars steal OBE, police appeal
EAST Grinstead Police have taken a dip into the archives to come up with this film from the original Drink/Drive campaign in 1964.
The black and white film – and the casual sexism – may be out of date, but half a century on the message is still just as important in the run-up to Christmas.
So make sure you book a taxi – not a police car – to provide you with your transport home after a night out this December.
Posted in Crime, News, Police Tagged with: archive footage, Drink/drive, film 1964, police