Retailers targeted by bogus workman

A SHOPKEEPER is warning retailers about a bogus tradesman who has targeted at least three stores.

The charlatan has demanded money for unsolicited work at convenience stores Paul’s Stop and Shop in Montagu Street and Local News in Dalkeith Place, Kettering, and Queensway Stores, Burton Latimer.

Kamal Paul, owner of Paul’s Stop and Shop, said: “I want to get a warning out to all shopkeepers out there not to be taken in.”

In each case the tradesman said the door was faulty, spent time ‘fixing’ it, then demanded payment.

The man called at Paul’s Stop and Shop on Sunday, told the confused shop assistant Mr Paul’s father had asked for the work and began taking the door off.

The shop assistant called Mr Paul, who was at his other shop in Dalkeith Place, who immediately came over to confront the man.

Mr Paul said: “As the assistant was talking on the phone he starts taking the door to bits.”

By the time he arrived the man had re-attached the door and demanded £30 for the ‘work’, repeating his claim Mr Paul’s father had requested the work.

Mr Paul checked the man’s story with his father, who was recovering from a stroke in the flat above the shop. He denied requesting the work.

Mr Paul called the police who attended, but said it was a civil matter between the pair.

The exchange was captured on the shop’s CCTV cameras.

Staff at Queensway Store in Burton Latimer had a similar encounter a couple of months ago.

A shop assistant, who asked not to be named, said: “Someone came in and said something about the door.

“He was talking to my boss and saying the door wasn’t working properly.”

Mr Paul said newsagent Local News, opposite his shop in Dalkeith Place, Kettering, had also experienced the same tradesman, although no-one from the shop was available for comment yesterday.

A police spokesman said: “This has been filed as a civil dispute.”

Earlier this week the county council’s trading standards service warned people about security systems.

Salesmen were cold-calling properties offering systems that were free initially but which cost to maintain or cancel.

To contact trading standards call 08454 040506.