Police today (Friday) reminded members of the public to be on alert when they are approached by people who persuade them to buy electronic parts and claim that profits could be made by reselling the goods to avoid falling prey to swindlers.
The appeal was made after a 56-year-old woman was deceived of $200,000 in buying 700 pieces of electronic capacitors worth about $140 in total from three men in Western last Wednesday (June 9).
Police enquiries revealed that a man approached the victim and another man outside a convenience store at 2 Catchick Street, Western, at about 1 pm last Wednesday.
He asked them to help him look after some goods and said that each of them would be given a reward of $200.
The victim and the second man agreed. The first man then showed them a piece of electronic capacitor allegedly worth $300 each and told them that he got plenty of stocks.
The first man gave the electronic capacitor to the second man before leaving.
Shortly afterwards, a third man appeared. He told the second man that he needed a large quantity of the type of electronic capacitor that the second man was holding and was willing to buy them at a price of $500 each.
The second man subsequently persuaded the victim to buy the electronic parts from the first man and then resell them to the third man to make profits.
Being convinced, the victim, accompanied by the first man who later returned to the scene, withdrew $200,000 in cash from a nearby bank.
She gave the money to the first man who in return offered her seven packs with each containing 100 pieces of electronic capacitors.
The victim was told that the third man would meet her outside a restaurant in the vicinity, but she could not locate him afterwards.
Feeling that she had been cheated, the victim reported the case to the Police.
Police are now looking for three men in connection with the deception.
Standing about 1.53 metres, the first man is aged about 30 and of thin build. He has a long face and short hair. He was last seen wearing a long-sleeve blue T-shirt and blue jeans.
The second man is about 30 years old, 1.83 metres tall and of dark complexion. He has a square face and short hair. He was wearing a short-sleeve grey T-shirt and blue jeans.
The third man, aged about 50, stands at about 1.73 metres. He is of fat build, and has an oval face and short hair. He was wearing a short-sleeve grey and white striped T-shirt and grey trousers, and carrying a black handbag.
Investigations by Divisional Investigation Team, Western, are continuing.
Anyone who might have fallen victim to similar modus operandi or has information to offer is urged to contact the investigating officers on 2859 4266 or call the Police Hotline 2527 7177.
Police Report No.5
Issued by PPRB
End/1815 hrs, Friday, June 11, 1999 (EC/CA)