Two men due in court after allegedly scamming €15,000 from elderly women

Men questioned about similar scams in other areas where pensioners had money stolen

The woman reported the matter to gardaí and detectives in Mayfield began an investigation. Photograph: iStock

The woman reported the matter to gardaí and detectives in Mayfield began an investigation. Photograph: iStock

 

Two men are due to appear in court on Monday over two incidents in which they allegedly stole almost €15,000 from two elderly women in Cork city last month.

In the first incident on September 3rd, two men called to a house in the Little Island area outside Cork city and persuaded a woman in her 80s to hand over cash for repair work which they never carried out.

Just over three weeks later on September 26th, two men called to the home of a woman in her mid 70s living in the Dillon’s Cross area of Cork’s Northside and pretended to be a neighbour’s nephew before making off with almost €10,000.

The two men, aged 29 and 25, were arrested in Killarney in Co Kerry at 7am on Saturday morning by a team of detectives from Cork who were investigating the theft, with the assistance of the Armed Support Unit and uniform members from Killarney District. The men are due to appear before a sitting of Cork District Court Monday morning at 10.30am.

One of the women the men called to is in her mid- 70s and living in the Dillon’s Cross area in Cork city. They persuaded the pensioner to write them a cheque for €5,000 which they cashed and they called again to her later the same day and persuaded her to write another cheque for a similar amount.

However, when they went to cash the second cheque they discovered the woman didn’t have sufficient funds in her account to cover it so they brought her to a local credit union and got her to withdraw €4,000 in cash.

The woman reported the matter to gardaí and detectives in Mayfield began an investigation and were able to identify the suspects from CCTV both in the estate where the woman lived and from the bank.

Officers arrested the two suspects Saturday morning and detained them under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act which allows gardaí detain suspects for up to 24 hours before they have to be charged or released.

The two men were taken to Mayfield Garda Station in Cork for questioning about the Dillon’s Cross theft and the similar scam on the woman in her 80s in Little Island. No money has been recovered to date.

Meanwhile detectives from Bishopstown, Kinsale and Millstreet also travelled to Mayfield to question the two men about similar scams in all three areas also in September where pensioners and vulnerable people had money stolen.

On Saturday night detectives from Mayfield charged the two men in connection with Dillon’s Cross theft and they are due to appear at Cork District Court either on Sunday or Monday on the charges.

The arrests comes just days after Det Supt Mick Comyns of Anglesea Street Garda Station issued a warning to people to check on elderly neighbours after a spate of similar type scams across Cork city.

“Criminals are preying on vulnerable older people. Bogus tradesmen are calling to their houses, offering to powerwash driveways, clean gutters and fix roofs - all as a means to con vulnerable people out of large sums of money.

“They tell people there are problems with their house and say they’ll fix them but once people hand over thousands of euro that the criminals ask for ‘to buy supplies’ they disappear with the money,” said Det Supt Comyns.

And he urged people living in both the city and the county to check on vulnerable elderly neighbours living alone if they notice any strangers calling to the pensioners or any suspicious activity in their communities.