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Bogus door-door charity collector in Sheffield. Have you been stung?

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18-06-2005, 09:41   #1
Scarey Mester
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Junkie Shaun Pitts fleeced hard-earned cash from hundreds of people across Sheffield while posing as a collector for a number of charities.
The 27-year-old even came armed with a clipboard and wrote fictitious names on donation sheets to make his scam look more convincing.
Pitts, who at the time was serving a probation order for drugs offences, pleaded guilty to nine charges of obtaining money by deception. He revealed he was responsible for a further 548 charges, totalling 2,082, but the prosecution accepted a lower figure of 725.
Today, after his four-month con was revealed in court, officers warned there could be dozens more victims throughout the city.
Pc Duncan Wray, of the Burngreave New Deal police team, based in Attercliffe, said: "He made up anything he could think of to take money from these people. He operated across the city and I think, without a shadow of a doubt, there are other victims.
"Many people will not even realise they are victims because the amounts were fairly small."
Pitts, of Wensley Street, Grimesthorpe, Sheffield claimed to be collecting cash for Abbeyfield Park Festival, in Burngreave, and for Firth Park bonfire night. Pitts, who at the time was in the grip of a heroin addiction, even claimed to be collecting cash to buy toys for children, Pc Wray added. Sheffield magistrates heard Pitts was arrested in February during a check on his friend's car.
Officers found a clipboard on his lap containing details of the properties he'd visited, as well as a number of fictitious names.
During questioning, Pitts told police: "I gave them the impression that I was a proper charity worker and that the money was going to charity. But I collected it all for myself."
He collected between 2 and 5 from each person and each day he knocked on doors until he raised 25.
Pc Wray said Pitts targeted properties in Burngreave, Firth Park, Winn Gardens, Darnall and the Abbeydale Road area.
Pc Wray said: "He was, at the time, a heroin addict, but he has told me he has been on various programmes and is now free of drugs."
Pitts was released on unconditional bail for reports to be compiled.
He will be sentenced next month.
Deputy District Judge, Sheila Driver, said: "All sentencing options are open, including sending you to the Crown Court."
n The Charity Commission says anyone who wants to donate to a collector should ask the collector for the organisation's registered number, and what its activities are.
Anyone still in any doubt should phone the Charity Commission.
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18-06-2005, 10:07   #2
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This guy is scum and i'm glad he was caught.

But why would anyone give anything to someone knocking on their doors asking for money :Confused:

Me thinks he's been targeting the elders in the bungalows!
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18-06-2005, 11:17   #3
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An elderly person I know had a visit from a guy at the end of October. The person had a clip board with names on it and was claiming that all the residents were donating money for a special bonfire party to be held in a local park. The park hadn't had any bonfire's for years and there wasn't one that year either. It wouldn't surprise me if it was this guy.
Little lost sometimes.
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