'Mobile bandits' | 

Dutch police warn locals about dodgy Irish handymen with ‘bad intentions’

According to local media, the police are on the alert after reports of Irish men who “ring the doorbell of residents and offer jobs, but those who accept the offer ultimately pay way too much money”.
FILE PHOTO

FILE PHOTO

Neil FetherstonhaughSunday World

Police in the North Holland town of Landsmeer have issued a warning to local homeowners to be aware of “rogue” Irish handymen who are active in the area.

According to local media, the police are on the alert after reports of Irish men who “ring the doorbell of residents and offer jobs, but those who accept the offer ultimately pay way too much money”.

Noordhollands Dagblad reports one resident of Landsmeer had claimed the handymen have turned up in the municipality, “and they drive around with bad intentions.”

“He says they are men from Ireland,” the news site reports.

The report also records that “Irish handymen” have been in the news before.

“At least 120 people have become victims of Irish people,” the news site states. “The police conducted two investigations between the end of 2017 and the spring of 2020. The victims were then defrauded for a total of more than €1.7 million.”

The story reveals how the fake handymen mainly target older and vulnerable victims. They ring their doorbell with the offer for a simple job at home, such as spraying the facade clean.

However, “once at work, they discover supposedly urgent problems with the home, which they are able to solve against the payment of large sums of money. They disappear from view shortly after payment”.

According to the Dutch news site, a total of eight suspects were arrested in previous investigations and by the summer of 2021, the police believed “there were hardly any rogue handymen anymore”.

A police spokesperson could not confirm whether the same Irish or other 'handymen' are involved in Landsmeer, Noordhollands Dagblad adds.

“However, there is certainly talk of mobile banditry, or internationally traveling criminal gangs. In a message on Instagram, the police officers released images of a white van with yellow and red stripes on the back with the message ‘don’t go with them’.”

“We cannot warn enough about this,” a police spokesman is quoted as saying. “We want to find these 'handymen' and start the conversation. There's not much we can do if there's a verbal agreement with them."


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