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Police issue warning over street sales of electronic smartphones and tablets after buyers scammed in Ashford and Dover

20 March 2014
by Tim Collins

Bargain hunters in Ashford were left almost empty handed, after dodgy deals of cheap electronics turned sour. 

Police are advising people to stay alert to strangers selling high-value electronic equipment in the street.

The warning follows two similar incidents within two days, one which took place in the town, and another in Dover.



A man and his friend were approached at the rear of the Mecca Bingo Hall in the High Street last Tuesday, where he was shown a phone and tablet device.

A price for the equipment was agreed, and a meeting set to take place in the car park of Asda in Kimberley Way.

The victim and his friend attended the meeting later that day where, the con-man showed them a rucksack containing the phone and tablet again.

Tablet device

Tablet device

Cash was handed over to the seller, who put it in his car before coming back and handing over the bag.

But as the man and his friend returned to their vehicle they discovered the bag did not contain the electronic equipment, but several pieces of cardboard and three bottles of fizzy drink.

The offender left the scene before they could challenge him.

Police tape

Police tape

A similar incident occurred the previous day in Dover.

Officers are investigating both incidents and are pursuing a number of lines of enquiry but are urging members of the public to stay alert to the dangers of buying products on the street.

They would also like to hear from anyone who may have been approached in recent weeks in similar circumstances.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Kent Police on 101 or call Kent Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

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