Dodgy dealings?

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MB Enthusiast
Oct 3, 2004
Sudbury, West London
Merc S212 E350 CDI BlueEfficiency Sport 256bhp, Suzuki GSX-650F, Mitsubishi Outlander PHEV Dynamic
For the second time in the last week, a bunch of guys in an old shape cyan Ford Mondeo have pulled up next to me and asked if I want to buy a laptop really cheap. In fact they were willing to let a brand new Sony Vaio go for £100.

I'm not stupid (well that's debateable but lets take it as read for the purposes of this discussion). A laptop at that price is either 1) stolen, or 2) bait - by which I mean they plan to take my £100 (and anything else I can get from my wallet) and leave sharpish while I walk off with a box full of rocks. I said no - I claimed that I couldn't afford it even if I wanted it. They drove off after a bit of joshing. But I'm worried - one of the guys in the car looked carefully at my nice E class mercedes as I said I can't afford £100 for a laptop.

The question is - what can I do about it? I don't particularly want this bunch of ne'er do well's "borrowing" my pride and joy - been there done that thankyouverymuch. I also don't really want them to target my mother's house (where we're staying temporarily). Finally, I'd prefer that folk like this didn't roam the streets freely plying their illicit trade round here - nimby tyvm!

So, any ideas? The wife says "oh just don't get involved". My gut instinct is saying the Police won't give a shit (why would they, no crime has occurred). Call the local station? Maybe find one of these new Community Support Officer people? I was sharp enough to note down the registration number, and it was definitely the same car both time - although I wouldn't swear to be able to recognise the folks inside. Suggestions warmly welcomed.

The same has happened to me a few times at the Homebase store in Ruislip... (last occurence about 6 months ago). Its definately a scam.. they do a quick switch of laptop and end up giving you something that is worthless.

In my instance i reported it to the police. Took down descriptions.. car details etc.. and gave them the lot. If anything.. patrol cars are given details of recently wanted vehicles.. and if its spotted then can stop and search. I've actually seen results from reporting something to the police one day and having the person stopped the next day for theft (sadly i was the victim of that theft).

You've said that "no crime has occurred", but I believe that people who are involved in any form of crime usually are involved in other things too.. whether it be drugs, stealing vehicles.. or driving around in an untaxed and uninsured vehicle. So its worth it.

Choice is yours mate :)
pure opportunist don't bother about it put it down to a chance meeting that went your way,I really do believe that your first instinct was right part with hundred quid + your car ,unless you can take delivery of a lap top at 40 mph and chuck em the money .Next time this happens mouth "no thank you" and high tail it out of their at top but safe speed ......and don't worry about going to fast David beckham got off with "if you think your in danger" approach,if you really want to meet the heavies in court then that's up to you ...but a selective memory is my get out clause,in the best interest of your family you say no harm done
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The scam happened to a friend of mine at the local b&q carpark in rochdale.two young gipo's shouted him over and showed him a new sony laptop and wanted £350,he offered £200 and it was accepted,as he didnt have the money on him they arranged to meet again in 15 minutes.when he met then again he thought i'm not being shafted,and asked to see the laptop again ,the lad got the laptop from the front footwell and showed it working,no problem he showed the money handed it over and was given the laptop bag.they drove away and he went to his car to check the machine ,on opening the case there was 2 bottles of volvic water in there and no laptop.the lad had 2 bags in the footwell and switched the cases ...great scam ,heared it happened to about 4 guys i know over a few days..
The water-bottle-in-the-laptop-bag scam was featured on one of those Police Camera style programs I watched over the weekend
if it sounds too good to be true, it's false!
Well, I phoned Crimestoppers not long after reading Madferrit's post. And...the advice I got was, don't even bother phoning the police, they won't care nor will they be able to do anything about it. *shrugs* I guess that's modern life. Someone is going to get shafted, more's the pity. I guess I should just be glad it's not going to be me.
Aswall said:
The water-bottle-in-the-laptop-bag scam was featured on one of those Police Camera style programs I watched over the weekend

I watched that last night having recorded it.

Police stopped 2 guys who had loads of empty lap top bags and bottles of water in their car but couldn't do anything about it :crazy:
You're not having much luck at the moment Simon - hope your house is finished soon and you can get out of there!

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