Colombian thieves who stole £500 from 91-year-old caught in embassy passport queue
Two Colombians who stole £500 from a 91-year-old man have been jailed after police spotted them in a passport queue at an embassy.
Cesar Velasquez, also known as Cesar Corral Gonzalez, 36, and Henry Gonzalez, also known as Henry Lucas Matias, 32, were two members of a gang who targeted the elderly man as he withdrew money from the Sutton High Street branch of Nationwide just before midday on Tuesday, December 4.
Members of the group saw the man take out £500 and put it in an envelope in his jacket pocket and tried to distract him by smearing make-up on his jacket and offering to wipe it off.
The attempt failed but the thieves watched as he put his damaged jacket - and the envelope - in the back of his car. They then dropped money at his feet and picked it up, telling him it was his. As they did this a man broke into his car and took the envelope.
CCTV images of the gang showed Velasquez taking the money from the car while Gonzalez acted as a lookout. The images were circulated around the force and an officer who was attending a meeting at the Colombian Embassy in Portman Place, Marylebone spotted the men in the queue on Monday, December 10.
The pair, both of New Park Road in Brixton, were arrested and admitted theft from a motor vehicle in front of Croydon magistrates on Wednesday, December 12. They were jailed for 21 weeks each.
Sutton Town Centre Inspector Richard Hall said: "What we have here is the result of good, old-fashioned investigative skills."
Crime prevention officer Duncan Harris said people should avoid withdrawing large amounts of cash.