Five men who pretended to be police officers to commit their crimes have been sentenced to prison in a recently concluded trial at the Court of Appeal.
Those fake cops found their victims in supermarket parking garages and other parking lots.
According to Iltalehti, after noticing that the person was old enough, they watched them until they got into a car. And later, based on the car's registration number, it was easy to find out the identity car owners and their phone numbers.
“I was in Koivukylä Citymarket in my wife's car when I got a call from a person who presented himself as a police officer,” said a victim in his eighties to the newspaper.
The caller said that an attempt had been made to take out a loan of 10,000 euros on behalf of the old man’s wife and that the police needed help to catch the perpetrators. The old man took the call seriously. According to the police, he left his bank card in the parking lot of a nearby apartment building and told the caller the PIN. The criminals had instantly withdrawn 2,000 euros from the victim's account.
The gang managed to from 20 elderly people aged from 75 to 90 during a three-week period. The criminals operated mainly in Vantaa and Helsinki.
With their activities they got more than 32,000 euros. Only the withdrawal restrictions of the banks prevented the amount from doubling.
Markus Kai Allan Nikkinen, born in 1993, was sentenced by the Helsinki District Court to 2 years and 7 months of imprisonment for, among other things, 13 misappropriations of official power and more than 20 fraud and attempted fraud offences.
One person has sentenced to 1 year and 4 months. The man had a long career behind him as a fake police officer.
The rest of the gang got shorter prison terms.
The court held that the acts were systematic and the criminals took advantage of the high age and good faith of the parties involved.
The crimes took place at the turn of the year 2016-2017.