officers are searching for prolific distraction burglar
Mark Rhodes, after he absconded from a prison in Kent. The
26-year-old, of no fixed abode, was serving a five year
sentence for fraud and distraction burglary at HMP Standford
Hill, in Sheerness, in Kent. He was last seen on 18th September
2010. Rhodes' offences included a distraction burglary which
took place in Ross-on-Wye, in March 2009.
was arrested in Ipswich in May 2009 after his photo appeared
on BBC Crimewatch. Although the offences he committed took
place nationwide, the investigation into his offences was
led by Gloucestershire Constabulary, in consultation with
the CPS South West Complex Casework Unit.
offences, which took placed in 18 police force areas, were
mainly committed over a four month period during 2009, with
a handful of isolated offences taking place in 2007 and
2008. The forces where the offences took place are Avon
& Somerset, Cambridgeshire, Devon & Cornwall, Dorset, Derbyshire,
Humberside, Gloucestershire, Lancashire, Leicestershire,
Lincolnshire, Norfolk, North Yorkshire, Northumbria, Staffordshire,
Suffolk, Cheshire, Thames Valley, West Mercia.
had two methods of offending. In the first he knocked on
doors in a given area, claiming a link to the local vicar
or other member of the church community, and asked householders
to lend him money. He was given loans varying from £10 to
£400 and on occasions would accompany the householder to
a cashpoint while they withdrew money.
other method involved knocking on doors, claiming to have
broken down and asking to use a phone to call for help.
He would then distract the householder before stealing cash,
bank cards and other similar items. Although Rhodes originates
from the Scotland area and may return there at some point,
his current whereabouts are unknown.
anyone has seen him or has any information as to his whereabouts
they should contact Gloucestershire Police on 0845 090 1234
or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.