A TOTAL of 23 people working for gas maintenance companies have been arrested for coercing, swindling and stealing from elderly people.
Maintenance workers charged defenceless elderly citizens exorbitant prices for butane gas installation checks which were often not even necessary.
Investigations began in 2013 when a number of elderly citizens in various areas of Malaga province reported having been swindled and coerced by gas maintenance company employees who took advantage of their situation.
In one case, an 84 year old woman was charged for tests she did not need as the installation had been renewed just three months beforehand. The workers later returned to her home claiming they needed to complete documentation and while she was filling in the forms one of the workers asked if he could check whether the hot water worked in the bathroom then stole jewellery, a bank book and cash.
The National Police force has started an Elderly Safety Project aimed to increase the trust elderly people place in the police, encourage them to report strange visits and crimes they may be victims of and inform them of ways to avoid being targeted by criminals.
The project includes informative talks at day centres, old peoples’ homes and public and private associations and organisations on how to stay safe and avoid becoming targets.
Police recommend that all citizens, especially the elderly, never let strangers into their homes and always make sure they know who is there before opening front doors.