Post thief jailed - Hemel Hempstead

12/09/2013

Residents living in a block of flats in Hemel Hempstead had their mail boxes plundered by fraudsters. The postboxes, which were in a communal area of the flats in The Spires, were broken into and documents and bank cards stolen. Money was then fraudulently obtained from people's accounts and false identities set up.

One woman, who was 83, had a bank card taken and it was then used to withdraw £8000 from her account.

The total losses to seven residents living at the flats close to the town centre was between £17,000 and £18,000.

The story was revealed today, Thursday, 12 September 2013, at St Albans Crown Court when fraudster Shirjeel Khan, 22, appeared for sentence.

Khan of Bramshill Road, Harlesden, London, admitted a single charge of conspiracy to commit fraud by false representation.

Laura Blackband, prosecuting, said it was last summer that the post boxes at the block of flats in Hemel were frequently targeted and mail destined for the occupants taken. Letters, especially from banks, were of particular interest to the thieves. Documentation and cards could then be used to plunder accounts.

Miss Blackband said it was on 01 August last year that Metropolitan police officers stopped Khan in North London. He was a passenger in a green Audi car and when police searched him they found an assortment of bank cards, letters, and a cheque for £6,000 made out to someone living at The Spires.

Infact, said Miss Blackband, all the items found on Khan that day were connected to residents living at the block of flats. His home was searched and more documentation discovered along with £1,100 in cash.

When interviewed Khan admitted he had been asked to intercept or steal post from the flats. The court was told that a number of victims of the fraudsters were vulnerable elderly people. Khan said he had used money he obtained to hire a car, pay bills, and to go to gaming sites.

Miss Mimma Sabalo said Khan now fully admitted what he'd done. She said he had got married this year and was studying for a degree in computer sciences at Greenwich University.

Judge Andrew bright QC jailed Khan for 12 months.

The judge said the message had to go out to those contemplating committing similar frauds on vulnerable victims that, if caught, they could expect lengthy jail terms.

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