A recidivist fraudster who impersonates police before stealing credit cards has been jailed after fleecing nearly $10,000 from his unsuspecting victims.
Jason Pope, 40, of Auckland, was this afternoon jailed for 4 years and 9 months on a total of 56 charges from offending in Hamilton and Te Awamutu during 2015.
Pope's ruse was similar for each of his eight victims - he dressed in blue and would be clutching a folder with "police" written on the front of it before talking his way into their homes by saying there had been burglaries in the area.
He would then steal personal belongings - including wallets, purses, cellphones - and then call the victims back purporting to be police saying they had arrested the burglars.
He would then coax PIN numbers from the victims and go on a spending spree.
All up, Pope spent $9543.90 belonging to rest home residents, including from Hamilton's Hilda Ross Retirement Village.
In sentencing him to prison, Judge Spear said Pope's conduct was that of a classic conman.
"It was arrogant offending, it was cynical offending and it was quite deplorable that you felt able to target the elderly and vulnerable."
Judge Spear said Pope had an extensive history for not only burglary and dishonesty but also impersonating police officers.
Pope pleaded guilty to 45 charges of using a document, six charges of impersonating police and five of burglary in a sentence indication a week before his trial was due to start in January.
Through his lawyer Glen Prentice, Pope did ask for today's sentencing to be adjourned as he was about to come into some money which he wished to pass on to the victims.
However, the crown and the judge took a cynical view of the proposal with Judge Spear suggesting he bring it up in his parole board hearing.
The judge also took a dig at Pope's current level of fines - $9000 of which was reparation - that sat at $13,304.97.
"That is reparation that has been owing for a long period of time and of course it's now matched almost exactly by your current offending."
Judge Spear said it was disappointing Pope had slipped back into his criminal ways after a period of avoiding the justice system, however it occurred simply so that he could feed his drug habit.
Prentice said his client was remorseful and embarrassed by his actions.
In their victim impact statement, one lot of victims said Pope came across as "very plausible" as he was dressed in navy blue and carried a big blue folder with police on it.
Outside court, the Hamilton Allandale Retirement Home couple said they had never had any dealings with police in their 80 plus years so had no reason to argue with him.
The woman became upset when recalling how persistent Pope was in his wish to get their PIN numbers for their cards.
Pope ended up fleecing about $4000 from them which she said he spent on shoes at Stirling Sports, a phone at 2Degrees, electronics at Noel Leeming and items from a dairy in Glenview.
When asked how they felt about seeing Pope, the woman said she wanted to go and "kick him" while her husband wanted to "bring back the stocks" so he could throw rotten tomatoes at him.
The couple said they had been lectured by their daughter about giving out their personal details, while their son was just thankful they hadn't been hurt.
When asked for advice for other potential victims, the couple just said "don't trust anybody that you don't know".
"We just don't need that sort of thing," the wife said.