Police in the west Midlands released images of two suspects who had been captured on a doorbell security camera at a home targeted in Coventry – which led to several calls naming Thomas Connors as one of them.
Connors and an unknown accomplice had gone to the address of a vulnerable 89-year-old man and his 91-year-old wife in Chapel Fields, Coventry, claiming they had spotted urgent work was necessary.
However, the accomplice is then believed to have deliberately damaged tiles himself as the pair claimed more than a thousand pound was needed for emergency works.
The elderly homeowners became suspicious – with the distressed woman screaming for help – and Connors and the other man departed with no cash. However, they left behind a £1,500 roof repair bill.
As we investigated this, it then emerged a man matching the description of Connors had also conned an 85-year-old man with dementia in Northfield less than a week later.
The victim had been told urgent roof repairs were necessary and Connors and a sidekick fled with hundreds of pounds without doing any work.
After releasing images across our social media channels and to the public we received several calls identifying Connors.
Even though he gave a no comment interview, apart from denying it was him in the picture, we were able to build a strong case of evidence which ultimately led to an admission at court.
The 62-year-old of Mere Lane, Lutterworth, pleaded guilty to fraud and criminal damage offences in March 2018. He was jailed for 20 months at Warwick Crown Court on Tuesday (15 September).
PC Munmohan Sahota, from force CID, said: “Connors had no hesitation in conning those he knew were elderly and vulnerable for his own gain.
“The tactic of deliberately damaging roof tiles to ensure work needed doing makes it even more deplorable.
“We are indebted to the public for their help in identifying Connors and we were confident in the case we built against him.
“We’ve still to find the suspected sidekick and, even though he wasn’t identified at the time we initially released his image, we hope someone may look again and recognise him. Anyone involved in trying to trick people in their own homes, the place they should feel safest, should not avoid punishment.”
Anyone who recognises them is urged to call us on the 101 number quoting crime reference 20CV/65129H/18.