Fraudster with forged £20 notes targets Southampton shoppers

·2-min read
Police are hunting a man who asks shoppers to change £20 notes which turn out to be fake.
Police are hunting a man who asks shoppers to change £20 notes which turn out to be fake.

A MAN in his 80s had his wallet stolen after realising the £20 note he was being asked to exchange was a forgery.

Police say a woman in her 90s has also fallen victim to the fraudster, who is targeting people in Southampton city centre.

He approaches members of the public and asks for change for a note - each one of which turns out to be a fake.

The incident involving the elderly woman occurred in Bargate Street at around 11.50am last Friday.

A police spokesperson said: "A similar incident took place in Bargate Shopping Centre on Tuesday last week, when a man in his 80s was asked for change.

"After the victim identified the note the man was looking to exchange was fake the man stole his wallet before fleeing the scene towards Portland Terrace."

Inspector Charlie Ilderton from Southampton Central Neighbourhoods Policing Team, added: "This incident caused understandable concern to the victim and we are following up several lines of enquiry to locate the man involved.

“We are linking this incident to a series of thefts in the city centre, where a man has approached members of the public asking for change for a £20 note, which turns out to be a fake, or takes the money before handing over the note."

The man is described as white, 5ft 9in, aged in his late 20s or early 30s, with stubble and a grade one buzz cut. He wears a navy blue jacket, with a logo on the left breast, and dark trousers."

Anyone with information can call police on 101 quoting crime reference number 44220183965.

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