Warnings in Essex and Cambridgeshire after men stop lone women drivers asking for cash
PUBLISHED: 16:07 14 December 2016 | UPDATED: 16:30 14 December 2016
A warning has gone out about gangs of conmen, including one looking like the Coronation Street character Stan Ogden, targeting women motorists.
A female driver, who does not wish to be named, was distressed on Sunday after a man stood in the road on the B104 in Thaxted forcing her to stop.
She said: “I had to stop, otherwise I would have hit him. He was standing on a tight bend. He came round to the passenger window and kept saying: ‘I need help’, He was near his car, a silver Mercedes.
“I said, I can’t help you, I’m sorry. He kept saying ‘take my gold’ and took off his rings. He gave me a business card, saying he was a director of a Russian company but when I said I couldn’t help, he snatched it back.
“I all happened very quickly, I drove off and turned into Monk Street and there was another man, looking very similar, standing there on his phone.”
The witness said the man who stopped her car was well-dressed. He was thick-set, a large man with a foreign accent. She thought he was Eastern European.
“He looked like Stan Ogden. I was behind another car at the time with two people in it but he didn’t stop that car, he stopped mine.”
The woman telephoned her son to come and meet her and they drove back to the spot.
She said: “I was anxious because I thought I had driven off and left someone in trouble but there was no one there.
“I phoned the police and they said it was a well-known scam around the M25. I was upset because I have two daughters-in-law in their 20s and I was worried that it may have been them stopped in their cars – or my mum.”
The incident was at 12.45pm on Sunday. Soon afterwards at 1.30pm, two men of similar description arrived at The Saracen’s Garage in Thaxted trying to sell gold to the staff.
Manager Craig Reynolds told The Broadcast: “They were both dressed smartly, suited and booted, only one of them came in. He was Greek looking with dark hair. He wasn’t short of money because he bought £40 worth of petrol. It’s all on our CCTV and we reported it to the police. I have seen four posts on Facebook about similar incidents.”
An Essex Police spokesman said the incidents had been shared with the Cambridgeshire force because reports had gone to both forces of men offering gold rings for cash. Cambridgeshire Police said an incident was reported on the road between Saffron Walden and Linton, the men drove off towards Suffolk.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Essex Police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.