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Issue 319 – Elderly man targeted by rogue trader

Police have launched an investigation after an elderly man was targeted by a rogue trader.

On Monday 17th January a man attended the home of a man in his 80s stating he could repair the victim’s car port. They agreed a price and the victim was driven to the bank to withdraw a £700 deposit. The victim paid the man who said he was going to pick up some materials but never returned. When the victim tried to contact the builder, neither the phone number nor the address was valid.
An investigation into fraud offences has begun and detectives are working to identify the person responsible. Police have released CCTV images of a red van which was in the area at the time. They believe that the driver may have important information which could help the investigation.
Investigating the incident, detective constable Angus Roberts said, “This was a heartless incident in which an elderly man received an unsolicited visit and was misled into agreeing to the work. He was given no time to change his mind and was taken straight to the bank to hand over money. This was a callous crime and I would urge the person responsible to come forward and face up to their actions.
“Enquiries have begun and we are committed to bringing the offender to justice. I would advise everyone thinking of getting building work done to get at least three quotes. Use reputable builders found in the phone book or seek recommendations from family and friends. Always be wary of unknown and unexpected callers and only engage them in conversation once you are completely sure they are who they say they are.”
Anyone with information is asked to contact Avon and Somerset Police on 0845 456 7000. People can also phone the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555111. They never ask your name or trace your call.