VICTIMS of Tony Smith lost tens of thousands of pounds in a crime called ‘vile’ by the investigating officer.
Detective Constable Pete Bambury said: ‘It’s vile. He really is the lowest of the low.
‘These kind of people, they prey on vulnerable victims, the average age was 82.’
Smith cheated 10 victims out of £182,000, using the cash to pay for holidays.
DC Bambury has urged other potential victims to come forward if they had dealings with Smith or had given him money.
His victims were:
- A 72-year-old man from Camberley who handed over £46,000 after he was told Smith spotted asbestos in his roof.
- An 86-year-old woman, of Pagham, Bognor Regis, lost £26,000 after Smith cold called her saying a 10-year guarantee on the roof was up and work was needed. The work he did cost £500-600, a surveyor found.
- The Hayling Island victim, 93, lost £25,000 – Smith removed his name out of her address book to hide what he had done.
- A 91-year-old from Hindhead, Surrey, lost £40,000 after Smith posed as ‘Ashley Harrison’ to complete roofing work.
- A 73-year-old recently-widowed victim from Hindhead lost £1,856 after he charged her for ‘asbestos removal’.
- An 82-year-old woman of Camberley lost £880.
- Four victims, aged 86, 82, 89 and one who has since died, lost £35,000. One was from Emsworth, two from Horsham, and one in Burgess Hill. These were taken into consideration.