Moment man flees police on rooftops after conning pensioners out of thousands
Watch Caron Bell's report
A man from a gang who conned 68 elderly people out of hundreds of thousands of pounds has been captured in bodycam footage that shows a rooftop police chase.
Four men have been jailed for more than twenty years, after an investigation led by Gloucestershire Police - despite their victims being based across the country.
Mohammed Rahman, Muhammed Maarjan, Muhammed Hussain and Shoriful Islam were jailed for a combined 20 years 8 months when they appeared at Bristol Crown Court today (10 June).
The men posed as police officers to gain access to the savings of their vulnerable victims.
Most of the victims were over the age of 75, with two aged 99. Some of them were terminally ill or had dementia and other age related issues.
The gang pretended to be police officers investigating bank fraud when they scammed the pensioners out of more than £290,000.
On the phone they told one of the victims that a bank employee had paid stolen money into her account.
She was then given the instructions: "Would you be able to go down to the branch and withdraw the £6500? She replied: "I don't even think I've got that."
He then said: "Well how much do you think you have got?" and she replied: "Well I might have £5000."
"Ok, well if you went and withdrew the £5000 that would really help our investigation and working out which member of the bank staff is stealing money," the imposter replied.
The woman withdrew the £5000, and handed it over to the gang's courier who arrived within minutes. She never saw the money again.
"She was so embarrassed with herself for allowing it to happen. For months afterwards she wouldn't answer the phone to anybody," her son, Ashley Warden, said.
The gang used throwaway phones to call victims - in total making 7000 calls to potential victims across the country dating back to 2019, including several in Gloucestershire.
In the investigation led by Gloucestershire Police, the men were tracked down to a flat in London.
When confronted by police, one gang member fled across rooftops to try to escape arrest.
What followed was a dramatic rooftop police chase, which was captured on the officers' bodycams.
Once caught, the men could not explain how with no jobs they owned luxury cars, cash, designer clothes and their Rolex watches - all seized by officers in a search.
Sentencing the men, Judge Michael Cullum told them: "Each of you were fully aware of the scale of the operation you were involved in and you were additionally aware of the basis of the fraud, which was to prey on the trust of the elderly.
"The fraud depended upon recognising and exploiting the frailty of the elderly.
“You found them in the last years of their lives. They rightfully had trust in the banks. They also had trust in the police, and rightfully so.
“You took from these elderly victims so much more than money. They were told if they did not comply, they would lose their life savings, which is exactly what did happen.
“At least half of them have failed to be reimbursed by the banks, because they told lies at your behest. These were your lies.
“These victims were intelligent, retired professionals who would naturally wish to assist the authorities.
“They were severely embarrassed and distressed by the loss of their savings, saying that they felt stupid. They are not. They were conned.
“I have no doubt that the effect on them has been to irretrievably change the way they look at life and society. It is bound to affect them for the rest of their days.”
Following the sentencing, leader of the investigation, Detective Inspector Matt Phillips, said: “This sentence shows how seriously we take courier fraud.
“It was the result of a lot of immense hard work from many officers at Gloucestershire Constabulary, who went above and beyond to ensure that we could show just how low these men were willing to stoop in order to defraud the vulnerable and elderly.
“I want any gangs who try to target the people in our communities to know that we will not sit back but will actively pursue them for their crimes, not just in Gloucestershire but anywhere in the country.
“This has had a huge impact on many victims who have not only seen a huge financial loss, but have been left with psychological damage resulting in some being too scared to answer the phone or even leave their house.
“I hope that this sentence will bring some peace to the men and women they targeted.”
The men were handed the following prison sentences:
Rahman, 27, and of Leirum Street, Islington, was sentenced to six years for conspiracy to commit fraud and two years for possessing criminal property, to run concurrently.
Islam, 24, of Highbury New Park, Islington was sentenced to four years and eight months for conspiracy to commit fraud and two years for possessing criminal property, to run concurrently.
Hussain, 24, and of Collier Street, Islington, was sentenced to five years and four months for conspiracy to commit fraud.
Maarjan, 23, and of James Morgan Mews, Islington, was sentenced to four years and eight months for conspiracy to commit fraud and two years for possessing criminal property, to run concurrently.
Two other people are due to be sentenced on Tuesday 28 June.
Unfortunately, many of their victims haven't been able to get their money back.