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.
So effectively stealing €3000 is not a crime in Spain? Spanish justice in action, yet again. This country now has more laws and bylaws than most of the developed world lol and yet conmen seem to flourish. It’s all part-and-parcel of an endemcially corrupt country I’m afraid.
Perhaps the Olive Press legal expert would like to give his opinion of why this isn’t illegal?
If they were Chinese living abroad I’m sure the Spanish courts would have issued an arrest warrant immediately. What a joke Spain is.
a2b electrical services also ripped us off for over 500 euros, they have no qualifications as electricians, the invoices they use saying they are memebers of electrical bodies and federations are fake as I checked them out.
Do not use any electrician unless they provide you with official ID , genuine documents that they are qualified and have a permanent telephone number not just a mobile. Check out their address exisits too as these guys used one in Benelmadena which was fake.
Beware of them especially as they have no idea what they are doing with the electrics, it could cost you your life not just some money!
Yet if they had thrown a pie at a local politician they could have got 9 years? What a shambles of a banana republic we live in.
Agree with all the comments. What a third-world country this is for everything political, economic and judicial.
A typical excuse you hear here all the time: “Ah, we’d get them! But the law doesn’t allow us to.” As if that is supposed to be an end to it all.
Ahem, what about actually changing the law then? Or hasn’t that concept existed in Spain since 1935?
You two are brilliant, this was a fraudulent act carried out by a couple of thieving Brits, however their is a grey area as stated the possibility of civil action. In the UK you would have been arrested on suspicion of Robbery..What you could have done 1. Taken their wallet and car with the understanding you had no intention of keeping said property if your money was returned in full, would they call the police. 2 Beat the crap out of him, then take his property, we are as you know to nice to do this, it could have turned ugly he might have pulled a weapon. Personally i think you did the right thing, you have now warned a hell of a lot of decent Brits re these two. Well done I hope you get the money returned…….