The Petrol Thieves

LAST UPDATED: 2 May, 2008 @ 13:38
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Well spoken English couple could be conning expats out of thousands of euros by asking to borrow money to fill their car

BRITISH expatriates are being targeted by a pair of conmen, who ‘borrow’ money for petrol.

The well-dressed couple knock on doors with British-plated cars outside, or approach people in the street, explaining that they have recently moved into the area.

Well spoken and with a dog by their side called Ellie, the English couple have so far tried their ruse in a number of towns, as far apart as Teba and Archidona.

They give the name of a local hotel and say they are looking to buy, before asking if they can borrow 20 euros for petrol.

They explain that they are unable to use their cash card because the banks are closed.”They are incredibly slick and have obviously done their homework,” Jill Raduch, 39, from Teba, told the Olive Press.

“They told me they were staying up the road at Molino Lucero, a self-catering place and would be there for at least a month.”

But after a few minutes of pleasantries they cut to the chase, and asked the mother-of-two if she could lend them some money for petrol.

“They promised they would return the money the following day.

“I told them I only had 25 euros, but unfortunately my 12-year-old son Lewis told them he had 20 euros to lend them.”

Raduch, whose husband is an oil worker based in Nigeria, straight away smelled a rat.

“I knew there was something fishy, particularly as they actually drove down the hill away from the petrol station,” she said.

The Olive Press has discovered that the same couple have TWICE tried to con people in Archidona over the last month too.

In the first incident the couple knocked on the door of an English family with the same story.

They had spotted an English ‘for sale’ sign and pretended they were looking to buy in the town.

“He introduced himself as Richard, asked if he could look around, before giving the story about his cashcard,” said a friend of the couple Doreen Cage, 51. “They ended up giving them ten euros.”

Then Cage, herself, from La Parrilla, was approached a fortnight later. “I think they trailed us from the supermarket,” she said.

“I recognised them straight away and said: ‘I think you owe my friends ten euros. I’ll give it back to him if you like?’”

“He looked at me horrified and said he would have to get it from the car and then scarpered.

“The way they are working they could be making thousands of euros a week. It is amazing.”

The pair have since been reported to both Iznajar and Archidona police stations.

They are described as tall, smart and plausible. He is of mixed race, fashionably dressed with a footballer’s style beard, while she has well groomed shoulder-length blonde hair and designer sunglasses.

They drive a silver 4×4 with the numberplate beginning with DN.

Have you been conned by the Petrol Thieves? Email [email protected]

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