LETTER: Beware of the car conman

For the benefit of all Eastbourne residents, I wish to report a recent incident of artful deception/theft. The victim was my sister-in-law (80), an Eastbourne resident who wishes to remain anonymous, for fear of reprisal.

At about 12.30pm on Sunday March 22, she and her disabled sister and husband from Crowborough, had parked on the first floor of the Arndale Shopping Centre car park. Proceeding to the disabled lift, they were approached by a man, who claimed he’d accidentally locked himself out of his Citroen car with keys and wallet inside. Wishing to travel by train to Rye to collect from his home a spare car key and money, he requested a loan of money sufficient for a return rail ticket, promising to return to repay the loan at 4.30pm at a pre-determined point.

My sister-in-law took pity and gave him £25. Needless to say the scoundrel didn’t turn up to reimburse the loan.

Having yesterday heard the sad story from my sister-in-law of the deceitful tactics used in obtaining this money by deception, I felt sufficiently outraged to make a formal report to Sussex Police, Eastbourne (Crime Report 1063/24 March.) By also writing to the local paper one hopes the account will warn others of this scoundrel. One admits to a degree of naivety on the part of my sister-in-law but she is also a compassionate person who, in trying to assist a fellow human, has been duped by a conman.

The culprit’s description: Aged about 60, of medium build, white, English, well spoken, blondish hair, clad in a blue pullover.

Richard Manning

Camberley, Surrey