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Laptop scam warning

Dated: 24 Jul 2014

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Police are warning people of a potential laptop scam across the force area.

Police have received a number of reports of people offering to sell electrical goods in car parks and streets and handing over a bag of heavy foods or drinks.

The latest warning comes after a man paid £600 for what he believed was a lap top, iPad and iPhone from a man in the Gallowgate car park, Strawberry Lane, Newcastle. The victim later found the bag only contained two bottles of lemonade.

It is believed the offender drove an old silver car.

There is a possibility that these are the same people responsible for a spate of similar lap top scam offences and police are not ruling out the connection to previous offences committed in: Lidl car park, South Shields; Jackson Street, Gateshead; Strawberry Place car park, Newcastle; Cleveland Road, Sunderland; Laygate, South Shields and The Bridges Shopping Centre, Sunderland.

Neighbourhood Inspector Caroline Ord warns offenders may target these areas again and that police are watching.

She said: "These men have offered what appears to be a very good deal but when the victims have handed over the cash, instead of being given expensive electrical goods they've been given items of no value.

"This should be a warning to others that they should never hand money over to people they don't know or buy goods offered to them on the street. If it seems too good to be true then it usually is.

"Anyone who knows these men, witnesses any such incidents take place or is approached by a man or men in the street and offered property for sale, they should contact police as soon as possible.

"These men have taken advantage of their victims, effectively stealing large sums of money from them, and it's important we find out who they are so they can be dealt with."

Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191, quoting reference 725 220714, or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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