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‘They caught me off guard’ – Jeweller almost £500 out of pocket after being sold fake gold chain

PUBLISHED: 14:37 03 April 2020 | UPDATED: 14:37 03 April 2020

Police want to speak with a man and a woman after a fake chain was sold to a jewellers in Norwich. Picture: Issued by Norfolk Constabulary

Police want to speak with a man and a woman after a fake chain was sold to a jewellers in Norwich. Picture: Issued by Norfolk Constabulary

Archant

A Norwich jewellery shop was targeted by scammers who left the owner with a fake gold chain and out of pocket to the tune of hundreds of pounds.

Police want to speak with a man and a woman after a fake chain was sold to a jewellers in Norwich. Picture: Issued by Norfolk ConstabularyPolice want to speak with a man and a woman after a fake chain was sold to a jewellers in Norwich. Picture: Issued by Norfolk Constabulary

A man and a woman targeted Tolar Jewellery in Exchange Street, Norwich, on Tuesday, March 17.

Owner Chris Cooper said the pair came in with a chain which they were looking to sell. The gold clasps were real and hallmarked, but the centrepiece was fake – something that Mr Cooper only realised once the pair had left.

He described it as “a very, very good copy” and said that his mind had been on the developing coronavirus situation, which resulted in him falling for the scam.

He said: “They came in the shop and caught me off guard. It was around the time when all this was kicking off and I was worrying about all that.

“I wasn’t fully on my game and they took advantage.”

Mr Cooper decided he would pay £500 for the chain, with the hope of selling it on for around £700.

However, once it became clear that he had been left with a fake, he said it was “probably only worth £30 to £40 as is”.

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To make matters worse, he didn’t manage to get the identities of the pair.

“They distracted me when I asked for their ID, so I didn’t end up getting that either,” he said.

CCTV footage in his shop, though, captured a man and woman who police would like to speak to.

This is not the first time Mr Cooper has fallen victim to a con – in December 2018, someone used what turned out to be a cloned credit card to pay for £5,000 worth of goods in the shop.

Police were unable to find the suspect, but Mr Cooper hopes that this story will have a different ending.

He is offering a £50 reward to anyone who comes forward with information that leads to the arrest of those reponsible.

Norfolk Police said they would like to identify and speak with the man and woman in connection with a fraud.

Anyone with information should contact PC Scott Ellis at Bethel Street Police Station on 101 and quote crime reference 36/19849/20.

Alternatively, call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.


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