A 17-year-old rogue trader conned victims in Leamington and Warwick out of thousands of pounds for roofing work that never happened.
The teenager from Doncaster, who cannot be named for legal reasons, pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud by false representation yesterday (Tuesday April 10) at Coventry Youth Court.
The offences occurred in January and February.
The first occurred at a house in Foxes Way, Warwick. The victim was in her garden when she was approached by the offender and two other males. They told her that her roof needed repairing and agreed a price.
The victim handed over £1,400 and agreed a date for the work to be done but the three males never returned.
The second incident occurred at a house on Waller Street, Leamington in February. The offender and two other males knocked on the victim's door and told him his roof needed repairing.
They initially agreed a price of £30 but the offenders then asked to look into his loft. They said that more work needed doing and there would be a cost of £3,000 for materials that the victim handed over.
The offenders returned the next day quoting £27,000 but saying they could do it for £20,000. They asked the victim to go to the bank to get the money.
The cashier at the bank became suspicious and told the man to call the police.
The boy was arrested following a search of the area involving police dogs and the police helicopter.
Work is ongoing to identify the other offenders.
Detective Constable Rachel Priestly said: "These types of despicable criminals tend to target the most vulnerable members of the community.
"Rogue traders specifically target vulnerable and elderly people, who on occasions can be talked into accepting work on their properties.
"I would like to thank the victims for assisting us with our investigation, they helped ensure today's conviction.
"We're continuing our efforts to locate the other two offenders and I'd urge anyone with information to contact us.
"It is important that people are aware of rogue traders and that people with elderly or vulnerable friends and relatives speak to them about the dangers."