THE terror reign of a conman who preyed on Wigan’s elderly ended in a six-car pile-up.
Felix Rooney was behind bars today after a court heard that he fleeced three OAPs in one morning.
The 29-year-old, of no fixed address, admitted three counts of burglary and aggravated taking of a motor vehicle and was yesterday sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison.
He had been arrested after a police car chase from the scene of his last crime ended with his getaway car being involved in a mutliple-vehicle collision in Bolton Road, Stubshaw Cross.
Rooney had first struck at about 8.10am on Saturday October 10 at the home of an 89-year-old woman in Grasmere Street, Norley, Liverpool Crown Court heard. She was spun the familiar bogus official line of being from the “Water Board” and he said her supply was due to be turned off and she needed to fill some pans with water.
While she was doing this another man entered the house. The victim became suspicious and asked both men to leave, before realising some cash had been stolen.
Rooney then used the same pretext to steal cash and vouchers from an 83-year-old woman at her home on Walmesley Road, Leigh at about 9.50am.
And less than half an hour later, at about 10.15am, a 78-year-old woman noticed two men at her neighbour’s house on Belmont Avenue, Bickershaw.
When asked what was wrong she was again told by the men that they were from the “Water Board” and her supply was about to be switched off.
One man went into her kitchen and helped her fill pans before leaving. The pensioner then realised a significant amount of cash had been stolen.
Rooney was arrested shortly later that day after running away from a stolen Vauxhall Insignia that had crashed after being driven off from police.
Cash and vouchers were recovered from the car.
Det Sgt Graham Clare, said: “Rooney is an unscrupulous thief who did not think twice about conning his way into the home of elderly women, who he thought of as easy pickings, and stealing from them.
“The victims all thought Rooney was helping them and feel all the more aggrieved at his deception.
“I have no doubt his crime spree would have continued had he not been stopped that same day and I am pleased he has been jailed and can no longer target some of the most vulnerable members of our community.”