Police investigation launched after five Redbridge families threatened with kidnap
- Credit: Archant
Police are investigating after five Chigwell families have been threatened with kidnap if they do not pay a ransom.
Handwritten letters are being posted via Royal Mail and state that the person receiving the letter or their wider family will be targeted.
A five-figure sum is demanded in order to prevent a “kidnap” from taking place.
The letter also states that this amount will rise to a six-figure sum, should there be a delay in payment.
The correspondences – which Essex Police are calling a scam- were reported by five residents in Chigwell, one in Loughton and another in Buckhurst Hill, between October 15 and October 30.
You may also want to watch:
The letters also give instructions to create a Gumtree post or send a response to a mobile phone number.
Det Con Clive Singer at Loughton CID said he wants to reassure people that these correspondences are part of a scam.
- 1 Fire damages Ilford flats
- 2 95pc of children get place at first or second choice primary school
- 3 Have you seen Chantel, 15, missing from Ilford?
- 4 Ricardo Fuller death: Man charged with murder
- 5 Tributes to police officer killed in Ilford on 26th anniversary of death
- 6 Two men assaulted with pole after car driven into them
- 7 Two men arrested after kidnapping in broad daylight in South Woodford
- 8 Hainault teen lands coveted slot on dance touring company
- 9 Fairlop Waters, numbers, NHS and child exploitation
- 10 Two men arrested in Chigwell on suspicion of kidnap
He is warning residents who receive such notes to report them to the police and not handle them too much.
This will enable officers to extract as much DNA or clues from the letter as possible.
“These letters are generic, however, to receive something like this through the post is very unpleasant, and ultimately, the objective is to steal money from innocent people,” he said.
“We want to reassure residents that this is a scam and that there is no cause for concern in relation to the personal safety of residents.
“The letters are not targeted and there is nothing to suggest that the sender has any personal information.
“Rest assured that we are investigating this scam thoroughly, and would ask that if people receive a similar letter, that they avoid handling it to preserve forensic opportunities.”
Royal Mail have been contacted for comment.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Essex Police on 101, or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.