Sleight of hand post office trickster jailed

By Dominic Robertson | Mid Wales | Crime | Published:

A man who used sleight of hand tricks to con bank and post offices out of more than £900 has been jailed.

The trickster was jailed after stealing more than £900

Costel Ventel, from Birmingham, visited four post offices and a bank in one day, tricking staff into handing over a total of £930.

He had carried out the crimes in Pembrokeshire and just hours later, the 20-year-old was reported to Dyfed-Powys Police for trying to use the same technique in Llanelli.

Pc Olivia Jones said: “We were called to post offices in Tenby, Saundersfoot and Kilgetty, as well as HSBC in Tenby, on May 17, 2019, where Ventel had committed or attempted to commit fraud.

“He’d asked staff to exchange bank notes, then purposely confused them by using sleight of hand techniques. Ventel passed notes back and fore, managing to pocket £450 from one and £480 from another without the member of staff noticing.

“We believed he had travelled from Birmingham for the purpose of carrying out these acts of fraud, and enquiries immediately started to locate him.”

Later that day, Ventel travelled to Llanelli, where he tried to commit further offences at HSBC.

Pc Jones said: “Thankfully, staff at the bank were alerted to his unusual behaviour and recognised him and another man from descriptions circulated following the incident at the Tenby branch. They called police, and he was arrested on suspicion of fraud offences.”

Ventel was sentenced to 24 weeks in prison.

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