Police send out plea as ‘Geordie’ conman hits local shops

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LOCALS are being warning to be on their guard against the latest conman doing the rounds, writes Gavin Gibbon.

Staff at Style ’N’ File in O’Connell Street were targeted by a man with a Geordie accent in his late 40s on Tuesday morning.

A salon spokesperson said: “He came in and was speaking on his mobile phone and he asked if we had a phone book he could borrow. I asked what was wrong and he said he had just gone into his house after being on night shift, came out and shut the door with his keys and wallet inside.

“I thought it was funny because he still had his mobile phone. He said something about phoning his wife because she was in Galashiels and had a spare set of keys. I suggested he got the bus but he said he had no money and asked me for some.

“I didn’t give him anything. He said he was local but we’ve never seen him before.”

It appears as though the same man has paid a visit to O’Connell Street before, when he had more luck. Mary Beck, owner of Made by Mary, couldn’t believe it when she heard the story this week, which was all too familiar.

She said: “It was just before Christmas and I got a similar story, but that his wife was in Edinburgh on a course. He was very convincing and I was foolish enough to give him £10 out the till.

“I want to make people aware so this doesn’t happen again.”

A police spokesperson said: “If shopkeepers are being asked for money for whatever reason then we would suggest they err on the side of caution and contact us.”