A “serial and dedicated” thief has been jailed for 32 months after targeting vulnerable pensioners using cash machines across Kent.
Daniel Baah waited by ATMs in Headcorn, Tonbridge, Gravesend, Chatham and Strood.
The 26-year-old then struck as his victims attempted to withdraw their money – convincing them the machine didn’t work while stealing the card.
Maidstone Crown Court was told that on a couple of occasions he informed his victims he would report the faulty machine before fleeing with the stolen cards.
Now Baah, who admitted eight thefts and 16 frauds, has been jailed and the judge also ordered the confiscation of a BMW 3 Series he used to travel around the county.
Prosecutor William Goss said: “The Crown submits that this defendant is a serial and dedicated thief who targeted vulnerable victims at ATM cashpoints across Kent.
“He distracted them to steal their bank cards and subsequently withdrew substantial sums of cash.”
“Within seconds he left her thinking her card had been swallowed by the machine...”
Mr Goss added that some of the thefts were carried out with an accomplice but “he acted as the ringleader”.
He said the 18-month spree began on February 17, 2021, when he distracted Julie Fletcher “an elderly woman” outside an ATM at Sainsbury’s in High Street, Headcorn.
“Having entered her PIN number, Baah approached her, holding a red booklet.
“He physically lent on her shoulder and reached across pressing buttons on the machine.
“Within seconds he left her thinking her card had been swallowed by the machine,” added the prosecutor.
Baah then withdrew £500 from a nearby Post Office. The court was told Ms Fletcher had since died.
Two days later, he and another man carried out a similar attack on another elderly person at the Santander cash machine, swiping the card after telling his victim the ATM ”wasn’t paying out”.
The pair escaped with £300 after discarding their clothing in an attempt to flee.
On Sunday, October 10, 2021, he targeted a 77-year-old victim in Welshpool, in Wales, taking £750 in cash.
On July 21 the following year, he was outside the NatWest in King Street, Gravesend, telling his victim: “It’s no good, it’s not working.”
He then distracted her and when she went inside the bank to report her missing card, she was told £300 had been withdrawn.
Mr Goss said that on the same day, he carried out identical raids at the same ATM, and then withdrew £250 before moving to High Street, Chatham, taking £500 from another victim of his scam.
Four days later, he took a card from his victim at an ATM at Morrisons in Strood, telling her: “Oh that cash machine doesn’t work, I’ve been trying to tell you.”
Baah reassured his victim he was going into the store to tell them but vanished and then took another £350.
The prosecutor said on the same day he targeted another person outside Tesco in Strood, stealing £300 from her account making two withdrawals in just a minute.
Now Baah, of Durban Road, Stratford, east London, has claimed that during his time in prison on remand he is now “sincerely sorry”.