Conman targets M4 motorists for cash
Updated 10:27am Wednesday 5th February 2014 in News By Alexandra Womack, senior reporter covering Yate, Chipping Sodbury, Winterbourne, Frampton Cotterell, Rangeworthy, Wickwar, Hawkesbury, Iron Acton, Coalpit Heath and Old Sodbury
POLICE are appealing for M4 motorists who may have been targeted by a conman.
Officers from Wiltshire Police are investigating reports of an elaborate fraud along the M4 corridor by a man claiming to have run out of fuel.
Good Samaritans who stopped for a lone man posing as a stranded motorist have fallen victim to the fraud. The man carries a green fuel can and is believed to stand on various slip roads between junction 19 of the M4 (M32 junction) and junction 15 (A419 Swindon).
A police spokesman said: “Claiming his vehicle has broken down elsewhere due to running out of fuel he asks motorists for a lift to the nearest service station, primarily Leigh Delemere or Membury.
“En route he claims to take a call from the Highways Agency or police who require his car to be moved at a cost of around £800. Those giving him a lift have then offered to help out towards the cost. Once dropped at the services they never hear from him again.
“To date it is believed the offender has been able to acquire hundreds of pounds from victims.”
A 44-year-old man from Bristol was arrested in connection with these incidents and is currently on police bail pending further enquiries.
Officers are now keen to hear from anyone who may have been targeted in similar circumstances or who has any information about these incidents.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Detective Sergeant Chris Feerick at the Local Crime Team in Melksham on 101 or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
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