A 20-year-old woman was arrested on Thursday after posing as a fund-raiser for the Help for Heroes charity.
The Whitby woman was reported to have gone door-to-door around the town, asking people to sponsor her for a charity run.
Police received a report from a resident who had been visited by the suspect, who had sponsor forms marked with the ‘Help for Heroes’ logo and had been sponsored by other people around the area.
Acting police sergeant Steve Voyzey said: “The suspect was located with the help and assistance of well-meaning residents who gave their hard-earned money in the belief they were aiding the Help for Heroes good cause. This is a fantastic example of the public working with the police and as one of the officers involved in the chase for the suspect I would like to thank personally all those who helped in locating her.”
A search for the suspect took place in the Dundas Gardens area and she was eventually located hiding in a back garden in Fountains Close.
She was arrested on suspicion of fraud by false representation and has been bailed while police officers make further enquiries and make contact those the victims who had sponsored her or given her money.
Sgt Voyzey added: “This was excellent community assistance but I would also like to mention Charity collectors do work in the area from time to time, but they should carry identification with them.
People may have been deceived by this female as she had official looking sponsor forms with her and appeared plausible. However members of the public should always be alert and should they feel someone calling to their door is not a bona fide charity collector or they feel suspicious of the person please contact the Police.
“So please be alert to who is at your door. If you have an elderly or vulnerable neighbour please watch out for them too.”
Anyone in doubt about the validity of a fund-raiser should contact the relevant charity prior to handing over any money.