Prolific conman on the run

SUFFOLK: A prolific distraction burglar who was caught in Ipswich after being featured on Crimewatch has gone on the run from an open prison.

Mark Rhodes was arrested after a Felixstowe landlady recognised him as the man who had been staying at her guesthouse. He had committed 69 offences.

Rhodes had preyed on people claiming a link to the local vicar or other member of the church community, asking householders to lend him money.

Rhodes also used to knock on doors, claiming to have broken down and asking to use a phone to call for help. He would then distract the householder before stealing cash, bank cards and other similar items.

Rhodes was arrested at Ipswich railway station in May last year after committing offences in Suffolk.

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He had also duped victims in 17 other counties.

The 26-year-old was serving a five year sentence for fraud and distraction burglary at HMP Standford Hill in Sheerness, Kent but absconding on September 18.

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Rhodes originally comes from Scotland.

Anyone with information as to his whereabouts should contact Gloucestershire Police on 0845 090 1234 Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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