Thursday, 19 January 2012

Counter Crime

Staff at Lloyds TSB bank in Worcester Park have been praised by police for their actions after a 94-year-old woman told a cashier at the counter that she wanted to withdraw £4,000 cash to pay a man to repair her front garden wall.

The elderly woman, who lives alone, had been visited at her semi-detached home in Caldbeck Avenue on Saturday 7th January by a man offering to do work. She recognised the man as having undertaken some work for her previously and she suggested he repaired the pillar which had come away from the main front wall.

The man returned a few days later and told the victim that the work would cost £4,000. The woman gave the workmen some water to mix cement and then left to withdraw the money from Lloyds TSB on Central Road.

Worried bank staff called Worcester Park Safer Neighbourhoods Team. Officers arrived at the woman’s home address and a man in his 50s was arrested for fraud by misrepresentation.

The man told police that he had not had any direct contact with the elderly resident and that he had been offered the work for £80 ‘cash in hand’ earlier that morning from a man named Paddy. The man denied knowing about any payment of £4,000. The man has been bailed to return to Sutton Police Station.

PC Duncan Harris, of Sutton’s Crime Prevention Unit, advised residents not be persuaded to have work carried out on their homes by doorstep ‘workmen’. “If you receive such an approach and are suspicious don’t let any workmen into your home under any circumstances. Close the door on them and call police immediately on 999,” he said.

Det Con Paul Williams, of Sutton CID, said: “The management and staff at Lloyds TSB are to be congratulated for their vigilance and prompt actions which have saved this woman from losing £4,000 for work which should only cost a fraction of this sum.”