A SUSPECTED conman with black teeth is believed to have carried out a string of 37 frauds at DIY stores – including Eastbourne and Hailsham.
On dozens of occasions the DIY chain has been defrauded by a man who takes items off the shelf and goes to the till to gain a refund for a product he has not bought.
It is thought that 37 frauds totalling around £9,000 have taken place and police are trying to trace the suspect caught on CCTV.
He is believed to have targeted the Eastbourne store on November 6 and December 21 and the Hailsham store on November 6 and December 27.
PC Richard Valder-Davis of Brighton and Hove Response Investigation Team said, “This man appears to be travelling across the south east and further to carry out these frauds at Wickes stores.
“He enters the shops and takes an item from the shelves, generally kitchen items, then takes them to the till and claims to have previously bought the product but no longer has the receipt.
“He is then given a refund or credit note.
“We are keen to identify this man or anyone who may have information about who is carrying out these frauds.”
It is believed that frauds of this nature have been carried out in London, Sussex, Hampshire, Kent, Hertfordshire, Essex, Thames Valley area, Bedfordshire, Northampton, Leicestershire, Warwickshire, west midlands and Wiltshire between August 2011 and January 2012.
Police have released a CCTV image of a man they would like to speak to in connection with these frauds.
The man is described as white, between 5’8” to 5’10” tall and aged in his late 40s.
He is described as looking ‘unclean’ with black teeth, some of which are missing. He has worn a green farmer’s style cap with grey hair showing at the side with black or grey facial stubble.
He has also worn a grey scarf, green duffle-style coat and blue jeans.
Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to contact Sussex Police on 101 quoting serial 713 of 13/1 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.