Belfast Telegraph

Man and boy aged 15 arrested in Newry in rogue traders probe

By Gareth Cross

Police in Newry have arrested two males, one aged 51 and the other just 15, who allegedly targeted pensioners in a handyman scam.

The PSNI had asked the public for assistance after reports of cold-calling at homes in Shandon Park in the city.

It was reported that two males in a white van had arrived at properties in the area offering to clean out guttering.

"The suspects claimed they had completed more work than they had done in one case and charged extra," police said.

Following a social media appeal, police received information that resulted in the arrest of the two males.

They were both arrested on suspicion of fraud-related offences and remained in custody last night.

"I want to thank the public for their help, and I would encourage anyone who has information which may assist our investigation to get in touch with police in Ardmore on the non emergency number 101, quoting reference number 335 of 17/07/18," Sergeant Kenny Gracey said.

"Alternatively, information can also be provided to the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111 which is 100% anonymous and gives people the power to speak up and stop crime."

Sgt Gracey urged people to remain vigilant when dealing with cold callers.

"I would ask members of the public to bear in mind the following advice when dealing with unexpected visitors. We want to keep everyone safe in our community and I would appeal to householders to be aware of cold callers coming to your door and to always request identification and not to be afraid to do this as legitimate callers will not be offended and should have identification on display or available," he said.

"Remember that it is your home, so it is okay not to open the door if you have any concerns.

"You could also speak to the person through the door or window, without actually opening the door to them.

"Not all cold callers are rogue traders, but some are.

"Report any activity that raises your suspicions to police immediately.

"This is a good way to alert us so we can investigate - and will help deter criminals and reduce crime in your area."

Belfast Telegraph

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