Pensioner warns motorists after scam by teenagers

SCENE The junction of Telephone Road and Talbot Road in Southsea
SCENE The junction of Telephone Road and Talbot Road in Southsea
Darren Eastaugh, 30, and Joshua Sumer, 27.

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A PENSIONER is warning other motorists after he was scammed by a group of teenagers.

Michael Read was tricked into thinking he had hit a pedestrian. And when he got out of his car to check on the youngster, the 72-year-old had his car ignition key and mobile phone stolen.

VICTIM Michael Read

VICTIM Michael Read

Mr Read was approaching the junction of Telephone Road and Talbot Road in Southsea when he was conned.

The former English teacher said: ‘I was driving in Southsea when I felt my car wheels run over an object.

‘At the same time, I heard shouting from three young people who were standing near my car. One was shouting that I had run over his ankle and broken it.’

Fearing the worst, Mr Read got out of his car to check on the boy who was shouting that he owed him money.

He added: ‘ I wanted to have a look at the lad’s ankle but they wouldn’t let me.

‘I also went to check on the damage to my car but they barred my view. At this point, one of them ran round to the driver’s door, opened it and took my ignition key.

‘I tried to get it back but they were still screaming at me about wanting compensation. At this point, all I was thinking was “please, someone come along”.’

Luckily for Mr Read, a lady walked past and helped him get his key back.

He said: ‘By now, I thought it would be best to call the police. I explained to them that since I had injured one of them, the police had to be involved.

‘But that was a big mistake. As I got my phone out, one of them grabbed it and all three, including the one who said I had broken his ankle, ran off with their bikes.’

The lady phoned the police and attempts have now been made to idenify the thieves.

A spokesman for Hampshire Constabulary, said: ‘Police were phoned to a report of teenagers behaving aggressively towards a man, aged in his 70s, who had parked his car.

‘A mobile phone belonging to the man was reported to have been stolen by one of the teenagers. Police have conducted enquiries to identify the teenagers.’

Anyone with information about the incident, which happened on Friday, December 13, can call 101 and quote number 44130 468266.

Mr Read added: ‘I have learnt the best thing to do is to stay in your car, lock your doors and call the police.

‘In hindsight I should never have got out of the car.’