A mother and daughter from Ramsgate who stole from elderly people and used the victims’ bank cards to splash out on cigarettes and alcohol have been jailed.
In May Dionne Clarke and her daughter Cherrelle Clarke robbed a man of his wallet in a Canterbury supermarket car park, and in the following month, stole a purse from a woman when they pretended to help her by carrying her shopping up some steps in Ramsgate. The stolen bank cards were then used in shops, a café and a pub where they were found by officers and arrested.
On Wednesday 25 May, Kent Police was called to a report of a robbery. A man in his 80s was by his car in a supermarket car park in Canterbury when he felt someone taking his wallet. He tried to keep hold of it but a woman pulled the wallet with force, causing the victim to fall to the ground and suffer grazes.
An investigation by the Chief Constable’s Crime Squad later identified the offenders as Dionne and Cherelle Clark who were seen throwing the wallet into a river after removing the bank cards.
The card was used twice at a shop, then to pay for a taxi, and then a further four times at a store in Sturry.
On Monday 6 June, a woman in her 80s was making her way up some steps near Newington Road, Ramsgate when the two Clarkes approached and offered to help her. They suddenly left and it was a short time later when purchasing groceries that the victim realised her purse containing £145 in cash and her bank card had been stolen. She reported it to the bank who informed her that her bank card had been used multiple times.
Swift actions by Crime Squad detectives identified the Clarkes as the suspects and they were traced to a pub in Ramsgate where they were caught red-handed with the stolen bank card and arrested.
Dionne Clarke, 57, and Cherrelle Clarke, 29, both of Manston Road, Ramsgate, were charged with robbery, theft and fraud offences which they admitted at Canterbury Crown Court.
They were sentenced yesterday (September 1). Dionne was sentenced to three years and eight months, and Cherelle was sentenced to five years.
Senior investigating officer Detective Sergeant Jay Robinson said: “The Clarkes were callous in their approach, targeting elderly people and either forcefully taking what was not theirs or tricking their victim with fake kindness while they stole.
“They then spent someone else’s money on tobacco and alcohol. I hope they use their time in custody to seriously question their choices in life and perhaps realise how despicable their behaviour is.”