Police say they have arrested a suspected "fake tradie" over the alleged theft of family heirlooms from a 90-year-old war veteran in north-western Sydney, after an investigation that spanned three states.
Darren Warrilow, 22, was arrested after investigators raided a Pitt Town Ferry Road home in Wilberforce in the Hawkesbury about midday yesterday, after chasing down leads in Victoria and South Australia.
Police alleged he was "was part of a group of travelling gypsies targeting elderly residents and the other more vulnerable members of the community". On May 16, he was suspected of offering to pressure clean the World War II navy veteran house in Eastwood, but then allegedly stole his late wife and father's wedding rings and cash.
“Detectives have worked tirelessly to bring about a swift arrest in this case and I congratulate them on a great result," Eastwood Local Area Commander Superintendent Peter Marcon said, adding that he hoped the victim would gain some comfort from the arrest. Police previously released the name and photograph of Mr Warrilow in a public appeal.
“I urge anyone who has been victim to similar incidents to contact us immediately.”
The NSW Fair Trading department launched a "Stop travelling conmen" campaign in the state in November 2011 and a hotline - 1300 133 408 - was set up to report alleged incidents.
Anyone with information about the Eastwood incident can phone Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.