A FAKE electrician has robbed a British expat pensioner of more than €10,000 worth of jewellery and cash.
Patricia Vause, 88, is warning fellow expats on the Costa del Sol of the ‘young and charming’ man who she claims pretended to be from energy giant Endesa.
While inside her home in Ronda en al Mar, Estepona, the sick thief stole countless priceless items and almost €1,000 in cash.
Vause, originally from York, told the Olive Press: “I stupidly let him in but he was so convincing, he knew how much electricity I was using and spoke extremely good English.”
After suggesting she could cut her energy costs, Vause claims the man took her to her electricity meter in the basement and changed the settings, causing a red light to turn on.
Then, according to Vause, who has lived in Spain for 30 years, the man instructed her to call upstairs to him when the light turned off while he ‘tested appliances’.
“Of course after ten minutes I called out to him and heard nothing, and I went upstairs and he had vanished.”
It was only a few hours later that Vause, a career civil servant at the Ministry of Defence, noticed the true extent of the theft.
“He had taken a Rolex, gold braceletes, five platinum rings and priceless items like a sovereign gold ring that was given to me at birth, I couldn’t believe it!”
The haul also included an eternity ring containing 22 diamonds and €900 in cash. Altogether he made of with goods worth around €10,000.
Vause believes the robbery was a double act, as the thief was regularly on the phone.
“He was always on the phone to his ‘colleague’, but when I think about it now, I don’t think he was speaking Spanish as I couldn’t understand any of it.”
She added that he was ‘extremely crafty’, managing to win over her trust by talking about his ‘family from the UK’.
“He spoke about his mother and father and how he loved the UK and that he went to Trinity College in Birmingham, all of which is probably a lie and all the while scheming to rob me.”
Vause has made a denuncia and police confirmed to the Olive Press that an investigation has been launched, although they could not comment further.
Long term friend and fellow British expat Sandra Russell, 65, said: “It’s awful as she blames herself.
“She is such a sensible person. But she has been poorly recently which of course doesn’t help.
“I hope this story will save other vulnerable people.”