Brit expat pensioner loses jewellery worth €10,000 to fake electrician

Published:  17 Aug at 6 PM
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A British pensioner living on the Costa del Sol has been robbed of her jewellery valued at €10,000 by a thief posing as an electrician.

Patricia Vause, an 88 year-old expat from York, has lived in Ronda en al Mar on the Costa del Sol for the past 30 years since she left her job as a career civil servant at the UK’s Ministry of Defence. The brazen thief gained entry to her home by simply knocking on the door and telling Patricia he was from electricity supply company Endesa.

Once allowed in, he put her at her ease by talking about his parents, how much he loved Britain and his time at Trinity College in Birmingham. After he’d turned the conversation to the supposed reason why he was there, he suggested he could cut her electricity bill by allowing him to make a few adjustments to the supply.

Patricia took him to the basement where he made changes to the meter’s settings, allowing a red light to come on. After instructing his victim to call upstairs when the light went off as he would be testing her appliances, he left her in the basement. After 10 minutes or so, Patricia called out to him, but heard nothing in reply, and when she left the basement he was nowhere to be seen.

A while later she realised she’d been robbed of all her jewellery. Items taken included a Rolex watch, a 22-diamond eternity ring, gold and platinum rings and a sovereign gold ring she’d been given at birth. Including €900 in cash, the crook’s total haul was valued at around €10,000. Patricia believes he had an accomplice, as he spent time talking on his phone in a language she couldn’t understand rather than in Spanish or English.

A police investigation is under way in an attempt to arrest the man and recover the stolen items, and Patricia has gone public about the burglary in order to warn other elderly expats about the man’s modus operandum. Her long-term friend Sandra Russell told the Olive Press Patricia blames herself for being so trusting as she’s usually a sensible person, adding that she hadn’t been well recently which clearly didn’t help.
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