A BURGLAR and fraudster who targeted "shamelessly preyed on vulnerable people" has been jailed.
Michael Brooke (54), of no fixed address, turned up at a string of properties across Sheffield and Rotherham claiming to be an 'official' such as a police officer or council worker.
The string of offences began on December 28 last year when Brooke fraudulently sold a television to another man who paid him via a bank transfer.
On January 8, Brooke entered a retail premises on Fitzalan Square, Sheffield, and sold jewellery items to staff, claiming they had been bought from a car boot sale.
Brooke also carried out three "bogus official" burglaries on January 11 in Rotherham.
The following day, Brooke burgled a property in Sheffield after claiming to be a police officer there to discuss CCTV cameras.
After distracting the resident, he stole a handbag before leaving.
Det Con Dan Priest said: “Michael Brooke shamelessly preyed on vulnerable people for his own gain, repeatedly lying to them to get into their properties and stealing from them.
“We will always work proactively to prevent this type of incident occurring and protect more vulnerable members of our communities, including the elderly.”
Brooke pleaded guilty to two counts of fraud and four counts of burglary at Sheffield Crown Court on Tuesday and was jailed for eight years.
He had been charged with two further burglary offences, for which the charges will lie on file.
For more advice on protecting yourself, a friend or a loved one from bogus officials or other fraudulent activities, visit the SYP website here.