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Norwich man loses £3,000 at city auction

PUBLISHED: 09:32 17 February 2011 | UPDATED: 09:32 17 February 2011

Archant © 2011

Norfolk police are investigating a Norwich auction after a pensioner claimed he was left £3,000 out of pocket.

"I am a pensioner and this £3,000 worth of assets is a big chunk of my savings."

David Hooper

Listed under Saunders & Co Auctioneers, with a website, an auction at the Assembly House on December 21 was advertised with an appeal for items to be entered.

The website listing read: “We specialise in jewellery, but accept any item from Georgian samplers to vintage clothing.

“Our next sale is on December 21, 2010, and we will be accepting items up to the day before.”

David Hooper took the opportunity to put some items into the auction as he moved from his property in Thorpe Hamlet to Westwick Street in the city.

But after the valuer informed him that around £1,000 had been made on his items, that money, along with about £2,000 worth of unsold goods, has never reached him.

Now Mr Hooper has gone to the police after numerous failed attempts to contact the auctioneer.

He said: “He came to my house and gave me good valuations.

“I agreed to put them to auction and he came the next day with an assistant and took away the items leaving me with several receipts, none of which had any address other than the Assembly House.

“The auction came and went and he told me about £1,000 worth of my goods had been sold leaving £2,000 worth unsold.

“I made three separate appointments to meet him to receive my cash.

“He never turned up to any and I’ve sent numerous telephone and email messages to him without success.

“I am a pensioner and this £3,000 worth of assets is a big chunk of my savings.”

A police spokesman said: “We can confirm that there is an investigation following allegations of fraud and our inquiries are ongoing.”

Now Mr Hooper wants others to be aware of the risk and find out if anyone else has fallen victim to what he is convinced was a scam.

He added: “I know some of my stuff sold because I saw him after the auction and that is seemingly all lost now.

“I believe one other person is in the same position and not had any cash back. So it is all very confusing and frustrating.”

The Evening News was unable to contact Saunders & Co.

Management at the Assembly House, which is not connected to the auction, declined to comment.

Have you fallen victim to the same scam? Contact Evening News reporter David Freezer on 01603 772418 or on email at david.freezer@archant.co.uk

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