South Wales Police have issued fresh advice to local pensioners to be cautious when dealing with what could be ‘rogue traders’ on their doorsteps.
Officers are investigating an incident in which a pensioner in Lettons Way , Dinas Powys was tricked into handing hundreds of pounds in cash to a “tradesman” who , before doing the work required , disappeared with the money .
The incident happened on Wednesday, January 11th. The distressed pensioner told officers a man in a white van had called several times at her home offering to carry out work. She had declined on every occasion but on Wednesday agreed that he could go ahead and “repair her guttering”.
She paid him £280 in advance . The man then asked for a cup of tea before starting work – but when she returned with his cuppa, she found he had disappeared – along with his van and her money .
The man is described as short with thinning fair hair and with missing front teeth. At the time of the incident, which occurred at around 13.15, he was wearing a blue anorak. His van was plain white with a ladder attached.
Deputy Local Policing Inspector, Sergeant Abi Biddle, said: “This was a despicable act in which the victim was targeted in her own home. The suspect has persisted in calling at the woman’s address despite having been told on a number of occasions that she did not want work carried out.”
Inspector Biddle says “I want to remind the public to be on their guard and to be extremely cautious about handing over their money. I’d also appeal to people to look out for their neighbours, particularly older residents as they appear to be more vulnerable to these types of offenders. Legitimate traders won’t mind being asked for identification, nor will they mind waiting outside while you check its authenticity. They also won’t pressure customers to hand over cash, particularly before any work has been carried out. Homeowners are well within their rights to ask these people to leave their property, and anyone who feels threatened or pressured should contact police via 101, or 999 if an emergency, to report their concerns.”
Further advice on rogue traders and unwanted doorstep callers can be found at http://commissioner.south-wales.police.uk/en/police-crime-plan/anti-social-behaviour/tackling-nuisance-doorstep-callers-and-uninvited-traders/
Anyone with information about the Lettons Way incident is urged to contact 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously, quoting reference 1700012870.