£2,000 reward on offer in bid to catch Melrose conmen

Melrose police station.
Melrose police station.

A reward of up to £2,000 is on offer for information leading to the convictions of two conmen responsible for defrauding a Melrose pensioner out of a five-figure sum of money.

The charity Crimestoppers is offering that incentive in the hope that it will lead to the bogus workmen being brought to justice.

The pair targeted the 92-year-old woman in June and July, calling at her home in St Mary’s Road at least three times, as reported by the Southern at the time.

They first made contact on June 28 and last visited her on July 17, claiming to be working for an Edinburgh masonry company carrying out work on a wall in her garden.

The suspects are described only as being white, in their 40s and of slim build.

Angela Parker, Scottish national manager for Crimestoppers, said: “The impact of defrauding anyone is devastating.

“We need to work together to protect vulnerable people from the harm caused by this type of crime.

“To exploit a 92-year-old woman and defraud her out of thousands of pounds is nothing short of heartless.

“We are asking anyone who has information to contact our charity.

“For over 30 years, Crimestoppers has always kept its guarantee that everyone who contacts us remains 100% anonymous. Please pick up the phone or use our secure online form, and help us protect people and communities from the harm that these individuals could cause in the future.”

Crimestoppers can be called anonymously on 0800 555111 or contacted online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

Only tip-offs passed on to Crimestoppers – rather than to the police on 101, quoting incident No 1,540 of July 30 – will qualify for the reward now on offer.

The alarm was raised by a relative of the 92-year-old concerned to find that she had handed over lots of money for work that was never done.

Inspector Bryan Burns, of Melrose police station, said at the time: “These individuals have repeatedly targeted a vulnerable member of the Melrose community and were paid large sums of cash for work that was neither required in the first instance nor carried out in any case.

“We would once again urge the public not to allow unsolicited callers to carry out any work or repairs on their properties. Only use trusted tradespeople who you have contacted in advance.

“In addition, we would ask that our communities be wary of any suspicious activity around the homes of elderly or vulnerable friends, family and neighbours and report any concerns you may have to us.

“We have a range of really useful crime prevention advice available on our website at www.scotland.police.uk”