Police arrest rogue trader suspected of roof repair con in Westgate

Image Kent Police

A suspected rogue trader has been arrested after a van was stopped by Kent Police officers in Thanet.

The vehicle had been linked to an incident in Westgate in April  when a resident paid a cold-caller £45 to repair a roof tile. She then handed over a further £1,650 after being told further work was required, which it is now suspected was not necessary.

Officers from the force’s Proactive Targeting Team were tasked with locating a vehicle linked to the offence, which they stopped in Tothill Street, Minster, at around 12.40pmyesterday (June 13).

The driver, a 25-year-old man from Lancing, West Sussex, was arrested on suspicion of fraud. Whilst in custody he was further arrested in connection with a similar offence in Sandwich.

He has since been released on bail with conditions pending further enquiries by detectives from the Economic Crime Unit.

Detective Chief Inspector Rob Harper said: “Whilst the majority of people who call at our front doors are decent and law-abiding, there are unfortunately some who will attempt to rip you off or trick you into paying for work that is of a poor quality or entirely unnecessary.

“Always be cautious if somebody knocks at your door unexpectedly and offers to carry out repairs to your home, and only agree to any work if you are confident it is needed and that you can trust the person who is carrying it out. It is also good practice to get several written quotes first.

“If you believe you, a member of your family or a neighbour have been targeted by a rogue trader then please report it to us as soon as possible so we can take action to protect other people from financial harm.”


    • The same thing happened to me a few weeks ago! I thought I would be cautious and contacted a Trade Agency called “Bark”, for someone to clean out my bungalow’s gutters. Soon after I had a phone call from someone who said they working in Deal but could call round that afternoon, on their way back to Herne Bay where they lived. I asked them their name and was told “Stone Mill”. Two men turned up and started to clean out the gutters, but soon told me they had found some loose tiles, and tried to con me into paying £650.00 to replace them!

      Long story short, I did pay them £250.00 to get rid of them, as they were very intimidating, but here’s the thing, when I contacted “Bark” and told them what happened, “Bark” sad they didn’t have a contractor of that name on their books! So, this is how it works, a crooked builder gets onto a Trade Agency, and the agency sends them work, but they use a different name when they contact the potential customer, this means they can’t be identified! I contacted Kent Trading Standards, and they said they knew about “Bark, but would carry out further investigations. I haven’t heard back from them since! So, Mr Policeman, have your heard about builders using a Trade Agency with and a fake name when they contact a customer?

  1. Yes you are right and we had the misfortune of meeting one! Charged us £550 for pipework that I have been told since should have cost £150. He actually advertises as charging less for senior citizens but had no conscience charging us more and we are in our 60s and 70s! Always go on recommendations.

    • Broadstairs, yes yes yes, absolutely right, ONLY ever use those that are recommended, it’s the only way to reduce your chances of being conned. If you see or believe your neighbour is being scammed by rouge builder’s, challenge them! if they’re legit they’ll have no problem talking to you, if it looks scary, get another neighbour to do it or if necessary call the police.

  2. There is no contact number of who to contact on this.
    An 86 year old Ramsgate lady was charged £300 for a £30 areial to be put up.
    It started at £200 with a years warrantly £250 for 2 years or £300 for 3 years she went for the 3 year.
    I have no idea of who did the job but know the lady.

      • I don’t think I would have anything to report to the police .Maybe £300 for a pole and some cable and an hours work is right these days.
        The lady just said she thought it was a lot but would have been more if she didn’t pay cash.
        No crime has been reported , theft etc, it was an agreement between her and who put it up.
        She gave him the cash. think thats the end of it.

  3. I got done guy done 15 grands worth of damage to my bungalow took me a year to save up to get it repaired

  4. Scum!Should be made to repay, immediately and still charge the scamming,vermin.Does he tarmac drives,as well.

  5. We used a local landscape company, seemed genuine, had reviews, advertising and flyers. They were complete con artist..lost 500 over it before we told then to leave. Finished the job correctly with help of family. Shocking lack of care and respect

  6. Kent Trading Standards have a list of trusted tradesmen, I now understand, or if an OAP try Age UK who have a couple of “Handy Men”

  7. Having read all the comments above I’m somewhat surprised to not see an observation about our travelling community (and not the members of the Caravan Club) who are notorious for this type of thing.

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