Accused-petrol scammer at it again
Police suspect a man accused of scamming people for petrol money has been reoffending since appearing in court.
Kim Barwell, a 47-year-old caregiver from Hornby, was arrested last month and appeared on 27 charges of causing loss by deception, relating to incidents earlier this year.
He has yet to enter a plea.
It is alleged Barwell approached people, most of whom were elderly, claiming he had run out of petrol and needed cash to buy fuel.
He is alleged to have scammed $1494 from 23 people.
The charges alleged people mainly handed over amounts of $10 to $80, but four of the charges refer to losses of $100 and one is $270.
Sergeant Greg Hume said since Barwell's court appearance police have received at least 20 further complaints from people who claim to have been scammed.
Reports indicate Barwell has continued his alleged offending since his court appearance last month.
"It is also of concern that some of the recent reports involve continued offending against vulnerable elderly people," Hume said.
Hume said publicity over Barwell's alleged offending led to a number of people contacting police.
"But it is likely there are still a number of victims yet to come forward," he said.
Hume urged anyone who believed they have been scammed by this alleged offender to contact police.
Although people may feel embarrassed about being scammed, it was important to report any such incidents to police, he said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Hume on 363 7400.
- © Fairfax NZ News