Bingo Dab and £21K Grab for Opportunist Thieves

A pensioner from Hull has been left unable to trust anyone after her entire lifesavings were stolen while she was playing bingo. In 2019, the unnamed pensioner who was 79 at the time, used to enjoy a game of bingo on a Sunday with friends like clockwork, but in March, she had just received news of the passing of her sister and was understandably upset.

Her son, who was dating 41-year-old Victoria Marks at the time, wasn’t sure if his mother was up to going to the local entertainment venue but his then girlfriend was eager to get his mother out of her flat. Unbeknownst to him, a few days prior to this, his mother had handed over a key to Marks after she offered to help spruce up her flat. Eyeing where she kept her safe, Marks conjured up a plan to rob her with the help of her best mate and her boyfriend.

How it Happened:

Kerrie Martin, 42 at the time, was the best friend of Marks and she had taken the key to have it duplicated. On the lead up to Sunday in March of 2019, Marks was hounding her partner for an answer as to whether or not his mum would be going to play bingo. Alarm bells should have been ringing at this point, but they weren’t. Sometime after the constant badgering, the pensioners son broke up with his girlfriend and demanded the key back. Which played right into her hands.

If the key was handed back a day before the robbery, how would they gain access to the flat? That’s because they had a duplicate made, so Marks and Martin thought they had the perfect alibi for a freebie! Sunday came and the pensioner decided to head off to play her usual variants of bingo for a brief moment of normality. Later that evening, she returns to find her front door open, the hallway light on and her bedroom ransacked!

Live CCTV footage revealed a man wheeling a great big safe from her flat. This man was later identified as the partner of Martin and was arrested. It was in the police station that Trevor Longley, the safe thief, spilled everything about the women’s involvement in the crime. The safe containing personal documents and £21,000 in lifesavings were never recovered.

Hull Crown Court heard this week how the pensioner is now terrified to leave her home and in an victim impact statement, she said: “I have had to stay at my son’s. I loved my flat but I do not anymore. I have not been able to sleep since this happened. Financially, this has devastated me. My life savings were stolen and now if I want something I can’t get it. I will never trust anyone ever again. I lost my sister two days before and Victoria knew this. She said she was sorry for my loss and asked if I was okay, but this shows she has no feelings.”

Marks, the evil brains behind the robbery was sentenced to 27-months for burglary. Martin who copied the key and roped her boyfriend in to assist in the crime was handed a 4-year sentence with a further 6-months added on for affray. Longley, who has 18 convictions for 63 offences and one of which was commercial burglary, was sent to jail for 43-months.

Source: “Hull Pensioner Returns from Bingo to find Entire Life Savings Stolen”. Hull Daily Mail. February 15, 2021.

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