back to article Fast-fingered oldster relieves shop worker of iPhone cash

Surrey Police are hunting a slick-fingered 60-year-old who allegedly persuaded a shop worker to hand over £150 quid for a dummy iPhone. The Surrey Advertiser reports that the prestidigitateur bowled into a newsagents in Egham and asked if the staffer behind the till fancied paying £150 for a new iPhone. The assistant checked …


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  1. Cihatari

    "Genuinely not dodgy in any way, honest guv!"

    So a dodgy looking character breezes in, offering an unsolicited and possibly stolen item of merchandise and the buyer finds that they are ripped off afterwards!?

    Sounds like the shifty are robbing their natural prey, the stupid.

    What no facepalm icon?

    1. lglethal Silver badge

      Totally agree...

      A con only works when the conned think theyre the ones doing the conning...

      The guy probably pretended to offer it for £250 to begin with and let it be talked down to £150... Shopkeeper deserves everything he gets!

  2. Mondo the Magnificent


    How gullible can people be? I mean honestly a randon chap offers you a Jesus Phone for £150, you see it in the flesh, it works, then he takes it back, drops it in the box and you hand over the money WITHOUT re-checking the device?

    Sorry if you're going to be that trusting and short sighted, well you have yourself to blame..

    1. Jimbo 6

      Trusting ?

      I reckon the shopkeeper thought he was 'getting one over' on some old duffer who (being over 50) would obviously be clueless about newfangled crackle-magic devices. There's nothing like letting people think that *they* are robbing *you*, to pull the wool over their eyes.

      Saw exactly that dynamic in a story a few weeks back about a US pawn dealer getting burned -

      "On Feb. 3, a downtown Port Angeles business, EZ Pawn, paid a person about $20 each for more than 20 counterfeit U.S. Morgan silver dollars that were supposedly from a century ago...

      Brian Winters of EZ Pawn has bought coins for years — and even he was fooled. Unlike most counterfeits, the coins did not all have the same dates. One was a super rare 1893S, worth thousands and thousands."

      HA !

  3. Neil Brown

    "there's really not a lot you can do with a fake iPhone"

    The seller found a use for one!

    1. Alfie

      RE:"there's really not a lot you can do with a fake iPhone"

      I'm sure that our favourite Streatham clothes horse could find a use for it! A motivitional tool for any slacking assistants for a start. Or perhaps as a hardness measurement instrument for interior walls in Wembley?

  4. Neil Lewis

    Arkwright is my hero

    Remember when some poor fool of a travelling salesman tried to walk into Arkwright's shop (Ronnie Barker as the meanest, most manipulative, scheming and anti-consumerist grocer in Yorkshire in 'Open All Hours' - a classic British sitcom of the '70s) and sell him something? Arkwright's incredulous reaction? "You come in here trying to sell ME something?" The salesman left with an empty wallet, an armful of Arkwright's unwanted stock and never even knew why he'd bought it all. That's the way to treat door-to-door hawkers!

    Apart from that, if anyone walks into a shop and offers the staff a cheap iphone/computer/camera you can bet it's either (a)nicked, (b)faulty or (c)both. Idiot.

  5. Simon 26

    A crime

    ... that relies on the greed and willingness of the "victim" to buy dodgy/stolen goods.

    = not much of a crime.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Greed LOL

    Greedy newsagent staff. Only free cheese is in mousetrap LOL. If looks to good to be true, it probably is. Laptops switched with bags of potatoes too, suckers. One born every minute.

  7. Riscyrich
    Jobs Horns


    ... and he didn't even have to write one line of code for an App.

    2nd on the facepalm icon

  8. Havin_it

    "...flat black cap and blue shirt."

    You sure it wasn't blue and white stripes? Perhaps accompanied by a mask and large sack with SWAG written on it?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is this a *criminal* matter ?

    more like trading standards ?

    3rd for a facepalm "DOH !" icon.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I want to know...

    How they knew he is "cynical?"

    Was his cynicism captured on cctv? Or something?

  11. damager
    Jobs Halo

    A fake iPhone?

    Slap on a Samsung badge and see what happens.

  12. Mattyod

    Charge the shopkeeper.

    Shouldn't the police be charging the shopkeeper with intent to purchase stolen goods?

    1. Efros

      More Like

      "actions likely to endanger the financial well being of the intellectually challenged." Send him down!

    2. bluesxman

      RE: Charge the shopkeeper.

      They probably still could (though I'm doubtful it's worth the effort and expense), cause I wouldn't imagine the "cynical" old grifter paid for the dummy phone at his friendly neighbourhood Phones4U.

    3. philbo


      Can you charge someone with intent to purchase stolen goods if the intent is there, but the goods themselves aren't actually stolen?

      Any odds the iPhone concerned wasn't dodgy - it was bait that probably will have been used many times over.

      1. Anonymous Coward


        in the same way plod will trap drug dealers by selling them "cocaine" which is actually talcum powder.

        However, in this case unless the victim was stupid enough to tell the police he thought it was stolen, he'd be OK. After all, no one is *that* stupid ..

  13. Anonymous South African Coward


    Facepalm, oh facepalm, wherefore art thou?

    1. Random Glitch

      Facepalm icon is possible

      The reg is kindly allowing us to mew forlornly for which new icons we want; see

      A few have already offered facepalm.

    2. JesterMedia

      Wherefore art thou pedantry

      Anonymous South African Coward wrote, "Facepalm, oh facepalm, wherefore art thou?"

      You do know that this line means "Why are you called Facepalm?" rather than "Where are you, Facepalm?" don't you? Common misconception.

      Oh it feels good to indulge in Shakespearean pedantry on a Thursday morning...!

  14. Ancient Oracle funkie

    I know I'm a pedant but ...

    "Surrey Police say they are looking for an unshaven 5ft 11in man aged between 55 and 60"

    Oh look, I'm between 55 and 60 but ...

    "Surrey Police are hunting a slick-fingered 60-year-old " - I'm not a 60 year old

    "the fast-fingered sexagenerian" - nor am I a sexagenerian

    Sorry but I did say I was a pedant

  15. dotdavid

    Fake iphone

    Is he sure it's fake, or is he just holding it wrong? :-)

    Hang on, let me get my flameproof coat...

  16. Mage
    Jobs Halo

    No doubt

    The miscreant is now cap-less, clean shaven, and wearing perhaps a black polo neck.

  17. Apocalypse Later

    No use?

    You can still hold it to your ear and make people think you have an iPhone. Isn't that the primary use fanboys make of the genuine article?

    1. JeepBoy

      But at least it's reliable :)

      Way back when mobiles cost several arms and legs... my Uncle bought a fake phone (as a joke, I think). I recall the box it came in being "in" on the joke by making a plus of the fact that it was just an empty shell.

      "Highly Reliable..." , screamed one box sticker which went on (in smaller type) "as phone contains no working parts that can wear this product will *last*"

      "Low Operating Cost" screamed another.... "non-working phone means no expensive phone calls".

  18. The Fuzzy Wotnot

    "A fool and their money are soon parted."

    Greed triumphs over common sense. Even the most cynical of us get fleeced once in a while, but come on! Some complete stranger offers you the bargain of the year, out of the blue? Sounds too good to be true? Then it is!

    "Yer get ought fer nought, my lad!"

  19. Marcos Scriven
    Thumb Down

    I'm with Mattyod

    Shopkeeper should be charged with attempting to buy stolen goods. If he claims he knew it was fake, then why call the police?

  20. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge

    Typical police hyperbole

    ""I can assure Egham residents that everything possible is being done to bring this cynical offender to justice."

    Really? I don't see all the men in Egham being rounded up by force and put in a line-up.

    Perhaps he meant to say "doing whatever we can be arsed to do" rather that "everything possible"?

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    The "Fast Fingered Freddy Fake Fondleslab Fiddle." ?

  22. mmiied

    I would qoute most von lipwig

    but there are far to meny to be revlent

  23. Juan Inamillion
    Thumb Down

    @Charge the shopkeeper.

    You can't be charged for 'attempting to purchase stolen goods', how the fuck could you prove they were stolen for start when attempting to purchase? There is a charge for 'handling stolen goods' which requires proof that you knew or believed them to be stolen.

    I doubt very much indeed that the perp walked in as said 'I've got the stolen iPhone for sale'.


  24. JB

    Bait and switch classic

    I wonder what the old geezer's reaction would have been if the shop worker had just shoved the working phone into his pocket?

    Reminds me of a very cunning elderly neighbour of my aunt who had been stung a couple of times by distraction burglaries. So one day when the nice man from the water company called, she let him in, but managed to close and lock the front door before he could leave it on the latch. His accomplice couldn't get in and pinch the family silver while the other one kept the lady busy going on about taps, I bet he couldn't get out quick enough!

    It can be a dangerous game, but, if you can, con these buggers back, they deserve it!

    1. Anonymous Coward

      Totally OT, but a nice memory

      an episode of "Minder" where Arfa Daley had been captured by some bad'uns in a house. Doorbell goes, and Daley is forced to answer. It's Jehovahs witness, who Arfa invites in.

      The next shot is clearly hours later, when villians are shoving matchsticks in their eye to keep awake, whilst chief bible-basher comes to the end of the book ...

      "And you read it so well" says Arfa smiling .....

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