EXCLUSIVE By Liam Kirkaldy
A BRITISH couple who trapped two infamous Costa del Sol fraudsters in a home-made sting have warned other expats to stay vigilant.
The couple Glenn and Janet Jones, from Sotogrande, caught the two well-known conmen – who use the names ‘Jake Rose’ and ‘James Taylor’ – by luring them to a fake job in Marbella.
It came after they lost €3,000 for TV installation work that was never completed.
But after providing police with bank details, an address and a car registration for the pair, along with proof they had been using a fake IVA number, they have been told it is NOT a criminal matter.
Now they have been told they will have to spend hundreds of euros to take the case forward as a civil matter, despite numerous other victims also suffering from the pair.
Incredibly, another victim in Barcelona Margarida Ventura, who was ripped off to the tune of €399, was also told that the sum was too small to warrant a criminal investigation.
The Jones, who moved to Sotogrande over a decade ago, took matters into their hands after they paid €3,000 to upgrade their satellite TV connection.
After repeated calls to complain that the new system did not work they decided to try and lure the conmen to a fake address.
“We gave Taylor the address of an urbanisation in Marbella using a spare phone and said we needed work done,” said Glenn.
“When he turned up my husband parked right up next to him and blocked in his car – after a struggle we managed to get his wallet and his driving licence.
“It was in the pouring rain – and he panicked, wriggled out of his top and ran away topless.”
When police arrived shortly afterwards they were able to locate Taylor, who had been cowering around the corner.
While he claimed he had been the victim of an assault, police arrested him and the case went to court three days later.
“It was then we discovered it could only be a civil case with police telling us ‘next time don’t do it yourself, leave it to us’,” continued Glenn.
“The problem is they won’t do anything. We handed him to the police on a plate, but the court said it’s a grey area and wouldn’t treat it as criminal, so we can’t get a warrant out.”
They had found the company ‘a2b electrical services’ via an advert in a rival English newspaper.
Unbeknown to them, the Olive Press had already dealt with the men via a similar company Free2viewTV a couple of times over the last few years.
We exposed them in March 2011, despite threatening us with legal action after screaming abuse at ripped off customers and calling them ‘muppets’.
But it seems the pair – one from Liverpool, one from Birmingham, who have lived in the Alhaurin el Grande area and drive a grey Ford Focus with number plate 6365BZW – have managed to continue trading using a series of other names.
Indeed the Olive Press has discovered that they have been advertising in most of the coastal newspapers under the names uktvsolutions, inlandskytvspain, homeserve, response electrical services and a2b electrical services.
Most of the time they even use the same mobile number.
“Incredibly one of the newspapers refused to remove the adverts until the criminals were actually convicted,” complained Glenn.
After putting out a fresh appeal for information this week on our website, the Olive Press was inundated with replies from victims, who typically lost money in similar circumstances.
They insist the conmen go under varying names from ‘James Taylor’, to ‘Jake Rose’, ‘Jake Bass’ and ‘John Robinson’.
Some victims paid money to a UK bank account held by a ‘Michelle Rose’.
“I can’t describe how sickening it is to realise you’ve been robbed,” explained Glenn. “We were so nice to James Taylor, we gave him lunch and drinks at our house.
“I will only be satisfied if they got sent to prison and I get my money back, which I know is not going to happen.”
The Olive Press has been unable to contact the companies in question.
The details of the victims have been changed to protect their identity.