Huntingdon business owner raises caution over pretend police officer Mike Edwards

TheatreCom van was stolen from outside their premises in Hinchingbrooke Business Park, Gary Weston

TheatreCom van was stolen from outside their premises in Hinchingbrooke Business Park, Gary Weston Managing Director - Credit: Archant

A HUNTINGDON businessman is urging others to stay vigilant after a conman pretending to be a police officer called.

Gary Weston, Top Hex owner, was called at 11am Friday (January 18) by Mike Edwards who said he was working on behalf of Cambridgeshire police’s crime prevention team.

Mr Edwards congratulated Mr Weston on his crime prevention actions before saying that he was part of the force’s team.

The call was ended by Mr Edwards after Mr Weston challenged the caller, who withheld his number, on which actions he was applauding - being a director of Hinchingbrooke Business Park, where Top Hex is based, or having his TheatreCom van stolen just five days earlier.

Mr Weston said: “It’s a very strange one. From the start I was suspicious as he didn’t sound like a police officer - he didn’t have the confidence of one - and he kept stumbling his words.

“I was talking to him and asked him about which crime prevention work he was congratulating me on and he was struggling as he was off his script. It didn’t make sense to me.

“Then he left the call unexpectedly and I called the police to check if they had called me but they hadn’t.

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“I don’t know what he was trying to achieve as he didn’t get round to the conning.”

Cambridgeshire Trading Standards issued a warning about Mike Edwards before Christmas, stating that after an initial call, he would call days later asking for money to carry out more work.

Mr Weston added: “It is a bit lazy for Mike Edwards to keep using the same fake name. Conmen today just don’t take their job seriously.”

A police spokesman said the call had been reported to the force and the information has been passed on to the Action Fraud Line.

A spokesman for Trading Standards also confirmed that they had the call had been reported and urged businesses to be wary of cold callers.

Mr Weston’s TheatreCom grey Ford Transit van with distinctive markings was stolen last Monday morning (January 14) from outside the office in Ramsay Court, with the offenders driving past the security hut.

The business owner said that the guard on the night had been removed from the site by management firm Barker Storey Matthews.