Have You Seen Champagne Charlie?

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Police are hunting a conman who is thought to have made more than £11,000 from office workers by offering them cut-price deals on champagne.

John Clugston, 64, from Southwick in Sussex has been nicknamed "Champagne Charlie" by police, who believe he has committed offences in Hammersmith and Fulham as well as Kingston, Southwark, Westminster, Lambeth, Camden, Hackney and the City of London.

The "friendly" conman tells firms that he is from a nearby office and has bottles of Bollinger left over from a party he will sell for a low price.

After agreeing a price of up to £1,500, he takes the money in cash and promises to return with the champagne. Of course, he is never seen again.

Several firms in seven boroughs and the City of London are believed to have fallen for the scam, according to police.

Det Constable Anna Petherbridge said: "He is friendly and engaging in his manner and gives his victims little cause for concern. However, he is slowly conning a lot of people out of a lot of money and we need the public's help to track him down."

"We are keen to hear from anyone may know of his whereabouts."

Anyone with information can call the Metropolitan Police new non-emergency number 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

Clugston is described as white, around 5ft10ins tall and of a medium build with short dark receding hair. He is always to be seen in a shirt and tie, but is known to have the name "Sharon" tattooed on his right forearm.


July 19, 2011