A ‘DESPICABLE’ rogue trader who targeted vulnerable residents has appeared in court.
The 17-year-old from Doncaster pleaded guilty to fraud offences in Warwick and Leamington.
He and two accomplices conned a woman in Warwick into handing over £1,400 for roof repairs. They took the cash and never returned to do the work.
And they also targeted a man in Leamington. They tried to get their victim to withdraw £20,000 from his bank, but the cashier became suspicious and told the man to call the police.
The youth, who cannot be identified because of his age, was arrested following a search of the area involving police dogs and the police helicopter.
He appeared at Coventry Youth Court on Tuesday (April 10) where he pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation. He was bailed while pre-sentence reports are prepared.
Investigations are continuing to identify his accomplices.
Det Con Rachel Priestly said: “These types of despicable criminals tend to target the most vulnerable members of the community.
“Rogue traders specifically target vulnerable and elderly people, who on occasions can be talked into accepting work on their properties.
“I would like to thank the victims for assisting us with our investigation, they helped ensure the conviction.
“We’re continuing our efforts to locate the other two offenders and I’d urge anyone with information to contact us.
“It is important that people are aware of rogue traders and that people with elderly or vulnerable friends and relatives speak to them about the dangers.”
Police are offering the following advice to help people avoid becoming a victim of a rogue trader:
Don’t be forced into making quick decisions on the doorstep.
Get several quotes from several local reputable companies who have a reputation to maintain, and if possible seek recommendations from family and friends.
Only deal with firms with genuine verifiable phone numbers and addresses – beware of companies that only use mobile phone numbers and accommodation addresses.
Anyone who signs a contract on the doorstep following a visit that was not arranged (unsolicited) by law has seven days in which to cancel it.
All cancellation rights must be provided in writing to the customer at the time the contract is agreed – usually on the doorstep. It is an offence not to do so.
If you don’t want to speak to a trader at your door, don’t open it to them – it can be hard to distinguish good traders from rogue traders so it might be easier to keep the door closed.
Do not allow uninvited callers into your home.
Refuse to be taken to the bank to withdraw money, no reputable workmen would force you to do this. If you feel intimidated, close the door and call the police.