A CUNNING conman who pulled off a series of bank jobs by posing as an air conditioning engineer has been jailed for four years.
Joe Annerson, 63, was found guilty at Croydon Crown Court of stealing approximately £100,000 from various banks and building societies between May and August 2012.
After he and an accomplice targeted a series of banks across south-east London, Croydon CID were alerted when they stole from local branches including NatWest, in High Street, Croydon, and Nationwide, in George Street.
Annerson and the accomplice, who has still not been found, pulled off a sophisticated scam to gain entry to unauthorised areas of banks.
Detective Constable Lewis Sanderson, investigating officer from Croydon CID, told the Advertiser: "They were quite clever.
"You cannot ring up branches directly, so they would ring customer care pretending to be air conditioning engineers, who would then e-mail the manager of the branch.
"This meant the branch manager would think they were legitimate when they turned up."
This meant the banks would then give the fraudsters access to unauthorised areas and leave them unattended.
While banks did not keep all their money in these areas, the thieves could still gain access to tens of thousands of pounds.
After they left, it would be hours before the theft was detected as staff remained unaware.
DC Sanderson added: "This is obviously an issue for the banks and building societies, because so many of them were targeted.
"We have spoken to them and they have taken steps to tighten up their security."
Annerson has a previous conviction for a similar offence at a post office.
"Despite the weight of evidence against him, Annerson never admitted to any of the offences during interview with us," DC Sanderson said.
"We managed to narrow our search down because of the similarity of the offence."
Annerson previously lived in north London, and this is where DC Sanderson believes his accomplice may be.
He added: "He has not revealed the identity of his accomplice, who we are still keen to identify and bring to justice.
"We believe he might be in the Islington area."
Anyone with information about the remaining suspect in this case can contact the police by calling 101. Alternatively, call Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.