Police seek man who withdrew money from dead woman's account


Man withdrew money from dead woman's account

Detectives are looking for a man who took £300 from the bank account of a woman who had died in a house fire weeks before.

In a public appeal to trace the man, West Midlands Police has released CCTV stills of him withdrawing the money at a cash machine using the woman's cash card.

Officers said they were contacted by the mother of deceased victim, who is understood to be Amanda Richards, when she noticed the discrepancy in the joint account they had shared, while arranging to have it closed.

Police said they had no idea why the man had come to be in possession of Ms Richards' card but were treating the incident as theft.

Ms Richards, who lived alone and was disabled, died in a fire at her bungalow in Kildale Close in Coventry on December 3, last year.

It was on Thursday, January 9, about five weeks later that the unidentified man then made the withdrawal from her building society account.

Pc Ian Williamson, of West Midlands Police, said: "The woman who owned the card sadly died in a fire at her home.

"She shared a joint account with her mum, who was shocked to find cash had been withdrawn since her daughter's death on January 9.

"The man responsible also requested a mini-statement around an hour later on the same afternoon."
He added: "We don't know how or why the man is in possession of this bank card but we need to find out - so if you know who he is, please give us a call."

Anyone with information should call Coventry Police on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.
Meanwhile, a separate investigation into the cause of the deadly blaze at Ms Richards' home is continuing, although it is not being treated as suspicious.

A West Midlands Fire and Rescue spokesman said: "At this time we believe the fire started accidentally, but investigations continue."