A conman who pretended to be a police officer to gain access to people’s homes in Notts has been sentenced to nine years in jail after his beer belly helped to identify him.
John Casey stole cash from pensioners − including a 91-year-old woman − during a series of distraction burglaries across the country, including targeting people in Nottinghamshire, Birmingham and Coventry.
The 52-year-old from Birmingham claimed he was a PC, a water board worker or from the council to dupe his targets and once inside their properties took money or bank cards.
Officers started to build up a distinctive description of Casey earlier this year after being regularly referred to as having a beer-belly.
Detective Constable Kate Watts, from West Midlands Police Force CID which tracked him down in July, said: “This was cruel and calculated deception which targeted vulnerable people in our society.
“They allowed him into their homes believing he was someone they could trust; but he took advantage of this for his own financial gain.
“It was clear from the descriptions we received from victims that this wasn’t a legitimate police officer and thorough investigation work enabled us to identify Casey as the prime suspect.”
However, with strong CCTV and DNA evidence secured by officers he pleaded guilty to nine burglaries worth a total of more than £1,800 between 2013 and April this year. Five of these taking place in the first four months of 2017.
Casey, of Heathside Drive, Kings Norton, also admitted kidnap and attempted robbery after taking a man in his 70s to a cash point in Ealing, London, to draw out money; although he left empty-handed after the intended victim became suspicious and fought back when he tried to grab the money.
Detective Constable Watts added: “We always encourage people to check for identification if somebody knocks on the door to say they’re on official business.
“Check it carefully and phone the organisation they claim to be from. Get a number from the phone book or online - don’t use any number they provide on a card.”
Casey was sentenced to a total of nine years and three months at Birmingham Crown Court on Monday, September 4.