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30 October 2013, 11:44 | Updated: 30 October 2013, 11:49
A man who pretended to be collecting money for charity to con older people in Baldock and Letchworth has been sentenced today to seven years imprisonment.
25 year old Daniel Bolton, of no fixed abode, was arrested following an investigation carried out by Operation Manhunt - Hertfordshire Constabulary's specialist unit set up to investigate distraction burglary and other crimes against the elderly.
The team started investigating after a call was received from a resident in a retirement complex in Letchworth about a suspicious man who had knocked on her door stating he was collecting for the charity and wanted to get into her property.
Investigators from Operation Manhunt conducted a number of enquiries and found the man had knocked at various properties in the complex.
On 13 August, police were informed of suspicious activity at the home of a resident in Letchworth who the suspect had previously targeted and officers attended immediately. Bolton was found in the victim's kitchen and arrested.
Bolton was charged with eleven burglaries and eleven fraud offences. He was also charged with theft and admitted another 15 frauds and four burglaries.
Bolton had, in some incidents, taken 'charity' money from the residents at the doorstep, and in other circumstances negotiated his way into a property to steal. If a property was found to be empty he would break in.
The incidents occurred between July and August, in Baldock and Letchworth. He had also committed offences in Didcot, Romsey and Caversham.
Bolton pleaded guilty at Cambridge Crown Court on 25 October and was sentenced to seven years imprisonment.
Detective Inspector Kay Lancaster, who leads the Operation Manhunt team, said: "The evidence was so strong against Bolton that he had no option than to admit his offending. Using the guise of collecting for charity is disgusting. Bolton openly admitted to police during the course of the investigation that he purposely targeting older people. Some of his victims were so vulnerable and suffered with dementia. I am delighted with the result today. My team, worked extremely hard on this case, both investigating the crime and supporting the victims in the aftermath."