A fraudster who posed as a police sergeant to swindle money from elderly residents has been branded ‘shameful’ by the police officer who brought him to justice.
Derby Crown Court heard how John Carty forced a number of “vulnerable” victims to hand over thousands of pounds by “frightening” them into believing they would be in trouble if they didn’t do as he said.
He and his gang targeted elderly people in Derbyshire, Sheffield and Rotherham.
After he was jailed for five years, investigating officer Susannah Taylor said: “Carty preyed on vulnerable members of the community, using shameful tactics to intimidate and frighten his victims, before stealing large amounts of money.
“We are pleased with this sentence and hope it reassures people that crimes like these will not be tolerated.”
Derby Crown Court heard how a brother and sister, aged 81 and 79, were targeted in Long Eaton, Derbyshire, over a three-day period at the end of May.
Abigail Joyce, prosecuting, said an accomplice of Carty knocked on the door of the victims and showed them fake ID telling them he was a police officer.
He told them a judge had ordered they were not allowed to keep any more than £300 in cash at their address and that his sergeant, who was Carty, would call later that day to collect the money.
The couple believed them and handed over up to £7,000 in cash. He then called the following two days, making them walk to their bank and withdraw more cash.
Further burglaries and attempted burglaries took place in South Yorkshire and north Derbyshire between March and May.
One each occasion, Carty and his gang would pose as police officers with fakes ID documents to try and gain entry.
The first happened Catherine Avenue, Rotherham, when they told an 83-year-old man he was not allowed to keep large quantities of cash in the house.
The victim became suspicious and said he was going to speak to a neighbour but when he came back £2000 that had been in his wallet on the sofa had been stolen.
In May they targeted a 64-year-old man by twice knocking on the door of his home in Greenway, Wingerworth. The victim, however, saw them on security cameras and did not open the door.
The third incident, a burglary, happened on May 3 at the home of a 75-year-old man in Eskdale Road, Hillsborough.
Miss Joyce said the men told him they were police officers and accused the householder of paying a gardener with a counterfeit note. The victim handed over £1,400.
And the fourth incident, an attempted burglary, saw Carty and his gang target a 61-year-old victim with health issues in Daresbury Road, Heeley, on May 5.
They told the householder they were detectives investigating tax evasion with the victim later telling police the stress of the incident made him feel like he was having ‘heart palpitations’.
Carty, aged 24, of Trewint Street, Earlsfield, London, was snared when the police arrived at one of his victim’s homes and found him parked in a Range Rover nearby.
He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud, two counts of burglary and two of attempted burglary.
Kerrie-Ann Rowan, representing Carty, said her client had gotten involved in cocaine and things went “downhill.”:
She added: “These offences have knocked everything off track.”
The court was told how none of the other gang members have been caught.