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‘Look pal stop ringing, I’ve done this to 100s of people’: Serial conman who posed as undercover cop taunted victims after fleecing their cars

A serial conman who taunted his victims by admitting ‘I’m a grafter’ after stealing cars and vans worth almost £50,000 is back behind bars. Mason Crozier tricked several people into letting him drive away in the vehicles they were selling by pretending an internet bank transfer was about to be made.

One on occasion he posed as an undercover GMP officer and gave his victim a fake collar number to persuade him to let him drive off in an Audi A3 worth £7,250. In total Crozier, 21, stole six vehicles- including a Ford Transit van worth £13,000 and a BMW worth £3,500 – over a nine month period during lockdown in 2020 and 2021, Manchester Minshull Street Crown Court heard.

The first offense took place just days after he was released from a young offenders institute on license having been sentenced in February 2020 for a string of almost identical crimes. After one victim, from whom Crozier stole a Renault Trafic van, made numerous attempts to contact him the conman texted: “Look pal, stop ringing. I’ve done this to hundreds of people.

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“Your van is gone. It’s in parts all over the north west. You can report this to the police they will tell you it’s a civil matter because you gave me the keys. They won’t be interested so good luck.”

Another text sent to the owner of the Audi A3 read: “OK, I’m a grafter. I will give you the car back. It’s not worth the headache. Give me a couple of hours I will get it back to you. ” The car was never returned, the court heard.

After stealing £50 of diesel from a petrol station in Northenden by persuading staff he would pay via bank transfer Crozier threatened the owner by saying he would get a ‘load of kids’ to go round and strip the shelves. Gwen Henshaw, prosecuting, said the majority of Crozier’s victims had advertised their vehicles for sale on either Facebook or Gumtree.

She described how the ‘noted fraudster’ would employ the ‘usual charade’ of showing the victims a banking app on his mobile phone which appeared to show a money transfer was ‘pending’, before persuading them to allow him to drive off. He was arrested in Bradford West Yorks, on August 8, 2021 driving a BMW he had stolen six days earlier.

Zoe Dawson, defending, said Crozier had been in custody since September and had time to ‘reflect’ upon his offenses and wanted to apologise to his victims. He had had a ‘troubled bringing up’ having been brought up by his grandparents following the death of his mother, with a father who was ‘in and out of prison’, Ms Dawson said

She added: “It has to be said that these are serious offenses that follow a backdrop of previous similar offenses. He has had a significant amount of time to reflect on his behaviour. He is still a young man… he has realized he needs to change his approach to life otherwise for the foreseeable future he will see himself in prison.”

The court heard Crozier, who appeared at court via video link from HMP Doncaster, has five previous convictions for 28 offenses, almost all of which were for fraud or impersonating a police officer. In February 2020 Crozier, from Wythenshawe, was jailed for two and a half years after using a fake police warrant card to steal three cars.

Judge Angela Nield described Crozer’s criminal record as ‘frankly astonishing and said he took advantage of his victims’ ‘astonishing kindness’. “The arrogance you displayed is frankly astonishing,” the judge added. “The exchange of messages with your victims was belittling and, on one occasion, threatening.” Crozier was jailed for three years after pleading guilty to eight counts of fraud.

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