A man tricked his way into the home of a Bradford pensioner by posing as a police officer and then stole £8,000, a court heard.
Alan Gatenby showed a West Yorkshire Police identification badge to his 75-year-old victim and got him to sign some bogus paperwork.
He was caught because the pensioner dialled 999 after Gatenby failed to return with a receipt for eight wallets – each stuffed with about £1,000 – that he had taken away as ‘evidence’.
The 39-year-old, of Grayswood Drive, Holme Wood, was jailed for four years at Bradford Crown Court yesterday for burglary, impersonating a police officer, dishonestly making a false representation, and possessing an article for use in fraud.
The court heard that Gatenby “went through the charade” of making the pensioner sign papers while he searched through the house.
Judge Colin Burn said: “The entire experience, as well as horribly undermining the victim’s confidence in people purporting to be police, will no doubt have caused him huge distress.”
Gatenby and an accomplice, Michael Webster, had knocked on the pensioner’s door at 8.20pm on November 26 last year.
Webster, 23, of Wansford Close, Holme Wood, backed out of the burglary at the last minute when he realised what Gatenby was planning. The court heard that Webster, who appeared alongside Gatenby yesterday, believed the house was going to be empty.
In mitigation, the court was told: “Michael Webster had bargained for what he thought would be easy pickings in an unoccupied house. When it became apparent the house was occupied and the plan to hoodwink by the false police claims, he panicked and withdrew.”
Webster, who was on licence for conspiracy to burgle when the offence was committed, was jailed yesterday for 13 months for attempted burglary.
Jeremy Hill-Baker, prosecuting, said: “Gatenby was let in. He said to the victim he was searching for drugs and weapons. The victim said that at his age, he had neither.
“Then the victim was told the search was to see if there was any child porn in the house.”
Gatenby and Webster were in a car driven by Webster that was stopped by police a short time after the burglary. The court heard that the victim has not got all his money back