POLICE have warned the public to be on their guard against a jewellery scam being operated by an eastern European couple in the area.
The warning follows an incident last Thursday in which a Pioneer staff member paid about £5 for a “gold” ring which turned out to be made of brass.
As Frank Shepherd, a member of our maintenance team, drove his van on to the car park of our office in Whitby Road he was approached by a woman who told him she and her companion were hungry and penniless.
Mr Shepherd said: “The woman, who looked to be of eastern European origin, said she was from Yugoslavia and that she and her friend were in a desperate plight.
“There was an estate car with foreign license plates on the car park and what appeared to be a man sitting in the driving seat.
“I sort of knew it wasn’t all above aboard but I felt sorry for her and offered her a handful of change, which I think amounted to about £5.
“She snatched it out of my hand and asked me if I wanted to buy any more jewellery from her. But I’d had enough and told her to go away.
“She jumped into the waiting car and it roared away.”
Mr Shepherd added: “A friend of mine later took the ring to a jewellers and, of course, it was worthless and made of brass.
“I reported the incident to the police, not because I have lost a great deal of money but because I want other people to beware that people like this are about in the area.”
A Cheshire police spokesman said: “We would urge anyone to exercise caution when approached in the street by anyone asking for money.
“They may have a reason for doing so, but there is always a possibility they are willing to engage in criminal activity and steal from passers-by.
“Similarly, we would discourage people from buying items from anywhere other than trusted and reputable sources. Not only could you become a victim of crime yourself, you may also be handling stolen goods and could face prosecution.
“If you have been a victim of this type of crime or have any information contact Cheshire police on 0845 458 0000.”