UPDATE: MONDAY, 16 FEBRUARY 2015
Merseyside Police can confirm that they have arrested a 21-year-old man from Elton, Cheshire on suspicion of fraud.
He currently remains in police custody.
Detectives in Merseyside are appealing for the public’s help in tracing a man they want to speak to about an incident in Southport in which a resident was tricked out of thousands of pounds.
Officers want to speak to 21-year-old Adam Holden as they believe he could have information about the incident in Kingston Crescent, Southport on January 10th.
The 65-year-old victim was doing some work on his computer when at around 9am a man knocked at his front door. The man was dressed like a workman in blue overalls and a yellow, fluorescent jacket and told the homeowner that some of the tiles on his roof needed repairing.
The victim agreed to let the man take a closer work and, after being told that the work definitely needed doing, agreed to go with the man to his bank to withdraw money to pay for the work up front.
The homeowner could only withdraw around half the money that he had agreed to pay so the man returned two days later and again, took the 65-year-old to the bank where he withdraw a second sum of money.
The offender took the victim home and promised to return in a few hours however he never did.
Detectives at Sefton CID are now treating the incident as a fraud by deception and are keen to hear from anyone who has any information about the incident.
Detective Constable Jamie Dean said: “The victim has lost several thousands of pounds simply because he trusted the word of a man who appeared to be quite convincing as a workman but turned out to be nothing of the sort. The offender persuaded the victim that repair work needed to be done to his roof tiles and quoted a figure of thousands of pounds. He then encouraged him to withdraw the money there and then to pay upfront but ultimately failed to carry out the agreed work. The victim is devastated, as anyone would be, and we are doing everything possible to bring the offender to justice.
“I am keen to hear from anyone who might have information about this type of offence happening in the Southport area recently. I am particularly keen to speak to Adam Holden or anyone who knows him as I believe that he could have information that could help my enquiries into this incident.”
Mr Holden is believed to have links to Elton near Chester as well as Merseyside.
Call Sefton CID on 0151 777 3835 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Police top tips for avoiding becoming a victim of a cold-calling crime:
• Never agree to pay cash to anyone who cold-calls (turns up unannounced) at your home
• Never agree to repair work by a cold-caller without checking out yourself that the work does need doing
• Always ask for identification and check with the company the caller says they are representing to make sure they have a record of the visit BUT do so using a number for the company that you have researched yourself, not one supplied by the cold-caller
• If you do let someone in, never leave a cold-caller unaccompanied in your house
• If you have any doubts, concerns or suspicions about the caller, do not let them in and instead ask them to leave. Call a neighbour, friend or relative or, in an emergency, the police on 999