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Criminals targeting pensioners in Linstead

Published:Thursday | February 4, 2016 | 2:00 AMChristopher Serju
Jermaine Barnaby/Photographer Michelle Lee-Gaynor branch manager of Scotia Bank, Linstead.

The scarcity of job opportunities for young people in Linstead, attributed to a paucity of sustainable economic development over many decades, is being blamed for a new crime wave in which unemployed youth are targeting senior citizens.

"There is an influx of wholesales but nothing sustainable for the young people coming, and that is what is causing a big part of the problem that the police have because although crime is down, you have a lot of idle boys on the road and they just stand on the corner. You just look around and it's just boys, just 'kotching' all over the place," Michelle Lee-Gaynor, manager of the Linstead branch of the Bank of Nova Scotia told last Wednesday's Growth Forum organised by The Gleaner.

elderly pensioners

She went on to explain that some of these idle boys prey on elderly pensioners whenever they come into town to collect their pensions. With these seniors, some of them not in full control of their mental faculties, accounting for a fair-sized chunk of the bank's customer base, they make fair game for the delinquent youngsters.

Gaynor offered some insight into how the senior citizens are scammed out of hard-earned cash.

"By the time they come out of the bank you have the boys waiting, and the seniors, some of them they come to the bank alone and they have memory problems. So the boys will come up to them and say, 'Miss Amy, it's me, Joey' and they think they know Joey and by the time they are finished speaking to Joey, Joey takes away all their money."

The bank only became aware of this after a number of the pensioners returned, after realising something was wrong when they were unable to account for the cash.

"So they come back to the bank to me because that is all the money they pulled; the entire fortnight pension and they come back (but) I have no more money to give them," Lee-Gaynor lamented.