How wily Whitnash pensioner helped snare suspected rogue traders
POLICE have praised an elderly Whitnash man whose presence of mind helped catch a pair of suspected rogue traders.
The two men pressured the Landor Road pensioner, who has asked not to be named, into paying £700 to have his roof resealed - even though he did not need the work done.
But by offering to pay them over two separate days the pensioner tricked them into returning - and then called the police.
Officers were waiting around the corner to arrest the unsuspecting pair the next day.
Pc Charles Harrison, who leads Whitnash Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Fortunately he agreed to pay them in two lots. He stalled them to enable himself to phone us and tell them to come back at a given time to pick money up.
“Many people are too scared but this man’s presence of mind enabled us to catch the two suspects.”
The methods used by the suspected fraudsters were typical of dodgy dealers.
The men arrived at the pensioner’s house on October 15, claiming to be from “the company” that had sealed the roof only 18 months before, but did not appear to know its name.
One of the men at first suggested the work would cost £1,500, before dropping the price to £1,000. The second man then offered a price of £700, but said the man’s home was at risk if he did not have the work done.
They put ladders on the roof, which they sprayed using a hand-held pump, but did not cover the whole roof.
The men have been arrested and their van seized. They have since been released on bail pending further investigations.
Whitnash Police will be holding advice sessions to help householders defend themselves against rogue traders.
Pc Harrison praised Warwickshire County Council’s trading standards service, who arrived within 15 minutes of him calling.
He urged members of the public never to be pressured into paying for anything by doorstep traders, but to find a reputable local firm to carry out work that needed doing.
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Sunday 19 May 2013
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