Two bogus charity collectors have been stopped after a Lichfield police worker’s knowledge of sign language caught them out.
The two teenage girls were pretending to be deaf as they got city shoppers and market traders to sign up and hand over money.
But sharp eyed PCSO Hilary Gittins challenged the two after she spotted them acting suspiciously and realised the forms they were using were full of spelling mistakes.
“At first they claimed to be deaf. I can do sign language so I started using it to communicate with them. They persisted for a while but quickly realised the game was up and admitted what they were up to.”
The two girls, aged 13 and 15 were arrested and eventually sent back to their homes in Liverpool with a final warning after police contacted their parents and social workers.
Before they were sent home, police officers searched the pair and seized just over £100 which has now handed it over to the charity, Hearing Dogs for Deaf People.
Lichfield resident Edward Blacksmith brought along his hearing dog Molly to receive the cash on behalf of the charity.
Mr Blacksmith said:
“Charities already find it hard to raise funds and the behaviour of these two youngsters can only make it even harder. However, it was a good result in the end and the charity is very grateful for the donation.”