Police Warn St Albans Motorists About Petrol Scam

PUBLISHED: 17:32 25 February 2010 | UPDATED: 14:56 06 May 2010

POLICE are warning people about a scam involving a motorist asking other drivers to lend him money in return for fake jewellery as security . Two such incidents have been reported in the Bricket Wood and London Colney areas over the past two months. The

POLICE are warning people about a scam involving a motorist asking other drivers to lend him money in return for fake jewellery as 'security'.

Two such incidents have been reported in the Bricket Wood and London Colney areas over the past two months.

The first incident happened at around midday on Sunday, January 1, at the M25 roundabout near Bricket Wood.

A driver was flagged down by a smartly-dressed man in a vehicle, who did not speak very good English, and he told him that he was trying to get to Dover for a business meeting but didn't have enough money.

The well-meaning motorist then followed the suspect to a petrol station in Kings Langley, where he withdrew a sum of money and handed it over.

The suspect gave him what appeared to be a quantity of jewellery as security, on the understanding that he would be repaid.

But when the motorist went back to the petrol station to get his money back, the suspect failed to turn up and the jewellery was later found to be worthless.

The suspect was travelling in a grey Ford car, possibly a Mondeo or Escort and a passenger was in the vehicle with him. The first man is described as having olive or dark skin, with short dark hair and long sideburns. He was wearing a dark pinstriped suit and long black overcoat.

The second man had grey hair and was believed to be wearing a pink tie.

Another similar incident happened at around 5.30pm on Sunday, February 21, in Bell Lane, London Colney, when a woman driver spotted a man by a silver Mercedes flagging down cars by the side of the road.

She pulled over and the man - who had another man, a woman and two children in the car - told her that he needed money for petrol and asked her if she could lend him £20.

He offered her gold jewellery as security before taking down her details, telling her he would return the cash at a later date.

She then followed the Mercedes to a local petrol station where another man appeared and tried to sell her more jewellery for cash.

The woman then felt something was amiss and phoned a friend for advice, in which time the man in the Mercedes drove off.

The first man is described as being tall and dark-skinned, with short dark hair. He was wearing a navy pinstriped suit and possibly is a smoker.

The second man had dark brown hair and possibly a moustache. The third man had a beard.

Detective sergeant Eddy Phillips said: "While these drivers have both been well-meaning and attempted to be Good Samaritans helping people they thought were in difficulties, it appears they may have been the victims of a scam.

"We would just like to warn other motorists to be aware. If someone is in genuine difficulty, they should call for roadside assistance, or if appropriate, call the police non-emergency number for advice.


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