Jailed; Walsall doorstep conman who tricked and stole over £18K from OAPs

Crimea Price - picture from West Midlands Police
Crimea Price – picture from West Midlands Police

A cruel conman who helped steal wedding rings from an elderly widow has been jailed for over seven years.

Callous Crimea Price, 33, was part of a gang which a judge said “left a trail of misery” across the West Midlands targeting elderly widows and cancer patients.

One of his victims was stripped of £2,000 cash along with an engagement ring, her dead husband’s wedding ring and other jewellery belonging to her dead sister.

In total over a five month period dad-of-two Price, a member of the travelling community, along with others pocketed around £18,000 from 50 victims.

As he was jailed for seven-and-a-half years at Birmingham Crown Court it was heard the offences were committed while Price was on bail and the subject of a suspended sentence for similar offences.
He was jailed for 54 weeks in February for a similar raid against a 98-year-old woman who was conned of £300.

Recorder Jacob Hallam told the conman, of Long Lane, Great Wyrley near Walsall; “Between September and February you and your fellow conspirators left a trail of misery and fear across the West Midlands.
“You targeted the elderly and vulnerable in their own home to gain money and valuables.

“The effect on many was profound and will no doubt remain with them for what remains of their lives.

“A stark message must be sent to those who would prey on them as you and your co-conspirators did.”

Price and his gang targeted pensioners in Birmingham, Wolverhampton, Walsall, Sutton Coldfield, West Bromwich, Rugeley, and Cannock.

Posing as officials they would tell householders a rat infestation had been reported and demanded cash to deal with it.

Others were told a skip had to be hired to clear away garden debris or that a leak had been discovered.

While some were asked to hand over cash directly, others were distracted while a member of the gang searched cupboards and drawers hunting for cash and valuables.

Jennifer Josephs, prosecuting, said; “This was a cynical plan to visit the elderly, the easily confused or persuaded and to deceive them into gaining access to their property and their money.

“Occupants were told there were rats in the garden, that neighbours had complained, and these men were from the council and could sort it out.

“There would always be a cost for this job, usually a few hundred pounds.

“Usually people would hand over their money to the nice man from the council who would then go to get a receipt or poison for the rats.

“He would never come back, the money would be gone.”

Ms Josephs said Price was connected to the offences by mobile phone evidence which placed his two mobile phones in the areas of 49 of the offence offences at the times the pensioners were targeted.

She said; “Once may be a coincidence, twice maybe.

“But with 49 offences, the coincidence is too great.”

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Walsall conman used horsemeat scandal to string victims along in £200k fraud

Image from West Midlands Police

A conman used the horsemeat scandal to string along his victims in a £200,000 gadgets scam he set up from his parents’ Walsall home.

Steven Chand, 33, of Glenhurst Close, took payments for non-existent iPads and iPhones which he had advertised online at massively discounted prices.

When customers asked about their deliveries Chand claimed they were being held with livestock in the Middle East because of the horsemeat scandal that rocked Europe.

The dodgy dealer then faked letters from apparently satisfied punters of his phony business in a bid to convince police his enterprise was legitimate.

By the time his fraud was uncovered nearly 900 people had paid his bogus firm Discount Emporium Ltd around £216,000 for the gadgets he advertised at knock-down prices between April and July 2013.

He pleaded guilty to a single charge of fraud by false representation.

As he was jailed at Birmingham Crown Court it was heard Chand began the rogue trading from his parents’ home in Walsall to pay off £100,000 of gambling debts

Jailing him for three years and two months Recorder Marcus Tregilgas-Davey said: “It was a relatively sophisticated scam that involved significant thought process.

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