A woman who kept making friends with people only to steal from them has been jailed for four months.
Michelle Dillon, 52 pleaded guilty to fraud by false representation and theft at York Magistrates’ Court.
On 4 December Dillon approached a woman waiting in a restaurant in York on the premise of asking about the food.
When she left the restaurant, the woman realised her purse had been stolen from her handbag.
Then on 5 December, Dillon struck up a conversation with a woman in a pub in Thirsk before attempting to steal her purse, and then stealing her Filofax.
Once it became apparent what had happened, the victim’s son-in-law detained Dillon and called the police.
North Yorkshire Police officers searched Dillon’s bag and located the Filofax as well as belongings stolen from the woman in York the previous day.
They also recovered a number of other bank cards, store cards and identification cards under a range of names.
Dillon was arrested and later charged with theft and fraud by false representation.
‘Callously’ targeted vulnerable
Under interview, Dillon claimed to only ever steal from people she had befriended and that she knew would not be left penniless if she stole from them.
Dillon plead guilty to all offences – three counts of theft and five counts of fraud by false representation – and was sentenced to 48 weeks in prison yesterday (Monday, 7 December).
North Yorkshire Police Acting Detective Sergeant, Ian Phillips said: “The standout factor in this case was the sheer ‘full-time’ nature of the offender’s criminal activity.
“This was her lifestyle, repeatedly and callously targeting vulnerable victims, befriending them, gaining their confidence, and finally abusing their trust by stealing from them.
“Dillon claimed that she selected victims carefully who she deemed could afford to lose a little, and that she only ever took a percentage of what she knew to be in their possession.
“She saw herself in some respects as an honest thief with genuine principles, something which is both cold and calculating.”
If you think you may have been a victim of Michelle Dillon please call the police on 101 quoting reference number 12200221241.