War veteran conned by bogus workmen - witness appeal

Detectives in Southampton are appealing for witnesses after a disabled World War Two veteran fell victim to bogus workmen, who drove the 86-year-old man to a Bitterne Park post office to withdraw cash.

The victim was at his home in River Walk, Bitterne when a man called at his front door claiming that the guttering needing clearing.

The victim agreed for the work to be done.

Once the man started work, he told the victim that his roof also needed repairing and asked for Ł320 upfront.

The man drove the victim to a post office in Manor Farm Road to withdraw the cash in an unmarked white Transit van, which had ladders on the roof.

Inside the van was a woman who remained silent.

The victim withdrew the cash, gave it to the man and was driven home.

As they arrived, a flatbed lorry was just leaving which the victim was told had just delivered the new roof tiles.

A second man was outside doing the work.

The victim went inside his home followed by the first man.

Once inside, the first man emptied a bowl of loose change and told the victim that the second man needed a tip.

The victim felt intimidated so did not attempt to stop the man taking the Ł7 in change.

Both men then left.

The victim later discovered that his roof tiles had actually been removed and not replaced, meaning further work was needed.

The incident happened between 10am and 1pm on Monday, May 14.

Detective Constable Victoria Corbin, who is investigating the incident, said: “This was a particularly callous crime and has left the victim very distressed.

“He is disabled due to injuries he sustained during the war.

“He has a heart condition which has been aggravated by the stress he is under following this incident.”

DC Corbin appealed for anyone who was in the area of River Walk or the post office in Manor Farm Road and saw either the incidents or the van or flatbed lorry to contact police.

Officers would also like to speak to anyone who recognises the following descriptions of the man and woman.

Man one:

  • White
  • 6ft tall
  • Medium build
  • Tidy, short dark brown hair
  • Clean-shaven
  • Wearing a light-coloured top and medium to dark-coloured trousers.


  • White
  • Average height
  • Slim build
  • Medium length straight blond hair.

The second man was white but wasn’t really seen by the victim.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Constable Victoria Corbin at Bitterne police station on 0845 045 45 45 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. Mini-Com users can call 01962 875000.

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