The hunt is on for two men who scammed an elderly couple for £740 after they had suffered a power failure at their Chertsey home.
Surrey Police said the incident happened in Pyrcroft Road at around 3pm on Saturday, October 27. A man in his 90s and his wife, in her 80s, were targeted.
The couple awoke on the Saturday to find that their electricity had failed, police said. This was of particular concern as the man’s medical equipment was mains powered and he only had a limited backup.
A police statement said: “The couple spent the morning on the phone leaving messages to try to get it fixed, but by mid-afternoon the temperature in their home had dropped to 4°C and they were still without electricity, without heating and without hot food or drink.
“At 3pm a young man dressed as a workman knocked at the door. The woman asked if he was from the maintenance company and invited him in. She explained the severity of the problem and the young man fetched an older colleague – pictured in the e-fit – who went into the loft at the property.”
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Police said the pair then explained to the couple that “a bulb in the kitchen had blown and caused the electrical cabling in the loft to corrode and the wiring would need replacing”.
“They asked for £300 for parts, and left,” police said. “Fifteen minutes later they returned with ‘bad news’ and told the couple that the parts had increased in price, and they needed another £440.
“In desperation to get the power back on, the couple handed over the cash and the older man assured them that they’d be back shortly – and he’d bring hot drinks so at least they would be warmed up.”
‘Lacking any form of conscience or compassion’
The couple soon realised that they’d never see the two men again. They called police, and the call handler arranged for their electricity issue to be fixed – it turned out to be a problem with the fusebox under the stairs.
PC Sally Newton, who is investigating the incident, said: “These two men obviously lack any form of conscience or compassion – preying on a vulnerable elderly couple in their time of need, and taking advantage of their situation.
“To add further insult they returned to take more money, then promised they would return with the parts and hot drinks – leaving the couple without any heating or electricity, but with the hope and expectation it was going to be fixed.
“I sincerely hope someone will recognise them from the e-fit or descriptions, be as disgusted as I am by their behaviour, and do the right thing by calling us.”
Fat with pock-marked skin
Police describe the first, younger, man as white, 5ft 8in and fat. He is thought to be in his late teens or early 20s and was clean shaven, but with pock-marked skin.
He was wearing a dark padded jacket with a logo on one arm, and dark coloured trousers.
The older man – pictured in the e-fit – is described as white, around 6ft tall and large build. He is thought to be in his mid 40s. Police say he has a round face and big hands, and was wearing one leather glove. He is described as attractive looking with brown eyes and a nice complexion. He had short, smartly cut, not shaved, hair.
Anyone who recognises the person in the e-fit, or the descriptions of the two men, is asked to contact Surrey Police on 101 (999 in an emergency) or online here quoting reference 45180115189.
You can also give information, anonymously, to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111; or through their anonymous online form here.
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