Southampton Man Conned Out Of Thousands

Police in Southampton are looking for three people who conned a man out of thousands of pounds.

They have released a photograph of a man, believed to be one of the people who tricked the 67-year-old out of £5,300 cash and a gold and diamond ring of an equal value.

The victim was approached outside his Newtown home at about 1pm on Thursday 31 October, as he packed a car for a trip to help a sick relative. 

First a man and woman asked him for help and held out a letter. The victim said he was too busy and asked a passing pedestrian to help the couple. This man, who called himself Sharma, looked at the couple's letter and suggested that all four people get
into a parked black Volkswagen car.

Sharma explained to the victim that the letter confirmed a massive lottery win and gave the victim a telephone to ring and check the winning numbers. Sharma then suggested that he and the victim should pay the couple for the letter and claim the fortune
for themselves.

He produced £15,000 in cash and a quantity of gold jewellery, which he put into the car's glove compartment. Sharma then suggested the victim take out a bank loan. When the victim complied, he put his money and ring into the glove compartment.

Then, the other man said he was ill and needed medicine. The victim was sent into a surgery to get medicine, but did not know what to ask for. When he went out to find the name of the medicine, the car was gone, along with his money and ring.

The man who called himself Sharma is described as about 30 years of age and Indian in appearance. He spoke with a British accent.  He is about 5ft 6ins tall, slim, and clean shaven with short black hair.

He wore an orange high visibility jacket with a small Royal Mail logo, black trousers and black shoes. He carried a maroon leather bag.

Safer Neighbourhoods Team PC Samantha O'Hanlon said:

"This was a sophisticated, elaborate scheme, set up to defraud the victim of a substantial amount of money.

"The public should be aware of such scams and always remember not to part with money or valuables to someone you barely know."

Anyone who recognises the man is asked to ring the West Safer Neighbourhoods Team at Southampton Central on 101 or the anonymous Crimestoppers charity line on 0800 555 111.

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