Man jailed for conning elderly St Albans residents out of cash

PUBLISHED: 12:19 30 August 2017

Aaron Leacock.

Aaron Leacock.


A man has been jailed for 20 months after conning elderly victims in St Albans and North Herts out of more than £17,500.

Aaron Leacock, 29, from South View in Croydon, was sentenced for a series of courier fraud offences in St Albans Crown Court on Friday, August 25, after pleading guilty at an earlier hearing.

Leacock scammed his victims, aged between 77 and 91, on the phone on five occasions between May and July this year.

On each occasion, the victims were contacted by a man claiming to be from their bank who convinced them to hand their bank cards and PIN over to a courier. The cards were then used to withdraw large sums of cash from their accounts.

The scams were investigated by Operation Manhunt, Herts police’s specialist team which investigates distraction burglary and other crimes which target the elderly and vulnerable.

Leacock was identified as the man who had made the calls to victims and was arrested on July 20. He was charged with conspiracy to commit fraud.

Detective Sergeant Jon Leak said: “This is the latest in a long line of convictions we have secured against people who commit this type of crime.

“I hope it sends a warning that we will continue to thoroughly investigate courier fraud incidents and bring offenders to justice. It is only a matter of time before we catch up with you.

“Courier fraud targets some of the most vulnerable members of society and I would once again urge people to share the following advice with elderly friends, relatives and neighbours to help prevent them from becoming a victim – police and banks would never ask for your PIN and would never ask you to hand over cards or cash to a courier.

“If you receive a call you are suspicious of, hang up and report it to police. Remember to wait at least five minutes to ensure you are not reconnected to the offender, or use a different number.”

Anyone who thinks they may have been targeted in similar circumstances is asked to contact police on the non-emergency number 101.

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I should probably have taken the hint! Walking out into the garden recently an unprecedented flock of thirty or more crows raucously greeted me from the treetops at the bottom of my garden. Cawing and croaking these big, black birds clung clumsily to the top most branches and twigs, jostling and flapping to stay balanced in a constant flurry of feathers. There is always something ominous about crows – they are after all carrion crows, the vultures of the bird world – always watching for scraps and weakness that might mean their next meal.

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