Is this the charming con lady?

2012-07-07 00:00

DETECTIVES at the Pietermaritzburg Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) are looking for Charlene Singh (27) in connection with the alleged thefts by false pretences which have been occurring at retirement homes around the city.

They also hope that Singh can assist them regarding a malicious damage to property and attempted murder at Pietermaritzburg DPCI offices in January this year.

The Witness reported this week that an alleged “confidence trickster” has been visiting old-age villages posing as a pollster conducting a survey among the aged and robbing them of their possessions.

Two other pensioners claimed to have been swindled out of their life savings, allegedly by the same con artist.

Police spokesperson Captain Thulani Zwane said: “It is alleged that on January 13, 2012, Singh was taken for questioning when she started complaining about stomach cramps and asked to go to the toilet.”

“It is alleged that Singh was then escorted to the toilet by an officer, when she got into her vehicle and reversed in the direction of the officer and into two vehicles and sped off and knocked into a gate on the premises.”

Zwane said the officer escaped unharmed.

However, she was later arrested for damage to property and was released by the Pietermaritzburg Magistrate’s Court on a bail condition that she must report to the station on a weekly basis until her next appearance.

“She then failed to comply with her bail condition and her court appearance, which was set down for Thursday,” Zwane added.

The police believe that Singh can also assist them with information about various thefts by false pretences in the past four months.

A handbag was allegedly taken from the bedroom of Hazel McDonald (75)at Evergreen Retirement Village home in Chase Valley on Saturday.

It contained her credit cards, ID book, and driver’s licence, and two diamond rings.

Magdalene Seele (93), of Lutheran Gardens, lost R600 in cash, her identity document, her membership card of the Pietermaritzburg and District Council for the Care of the Aged, credit card, two chequebooks and a cellphone.

The police also told The Witness that a person was taken in for questioning in connection with the thefts.

The woman allegedly sped away from the police station while she was being questioned for allegedly conning elderly people.

Zwane was unable to say if the different cases are linked.

“We’re making an appeal to anyone that can assist with any information regarding the whereabouts of the person or any person who is a victim to such incidents to urgently contact the police,” Zwane added.

The investigating officer Warrant Officer Mzonjani Nxumalo can be contacted on 033 328 4501 or

071 481 3339.

— Witness Reporter.

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