Bedford man arrested for 'stealing' a house in Luton as police investigate fraudulent sale
The arrest follows an investigation by Bedfordshire Police’s Serious Fraud Investigation Unit
A man from Bedford has been arrested in connection to the fraudulent sale of a house in Luton.
The man was arrested at his home address on Thursday morning (November 4) on suspicion of fraud by false representation.
Earlier this week, Reverend Mike Hall, who was working away, told the BBC how his house had been sold without his knowledge, via suspected identity theft.
He drove back to his Luton home after being alerted by neighbours that someone was inside the property.
When he arrived, he found building work underway and a new owner who said he had bought it.
Mr Hall told the BBC Radio 4's You and Yours: "I pushed him to one side and got in the property. I really didn't know what he was doing there.
"The shock of seeing the house completely stripped of furniture; all furnishings, carpet, curtains - everything - was out of the property."
Mr Hall said the builder left and returned with the new owner's father - who said he had bought the terraced house in July, adding: "It is now my property. You are now trespassing. Get out."
Detective Inspector James Day, head of the new unit, said: “This arrest marks significant progress in this investigation.
“I can only imagine the anxiety and stress the victim has had to endure in this unusual and sophisticated case.
“My team of specialist officers is determined to get justice for him, as well as other victims of heartless fraudsters here in Bedfordshire.
“Our new team marks a step change in how we respond to fraud cases in the county and we are determined to bring any offenders to justice.”
The suspect currently remains in police custody for questioning.
Anyone with any information about fraud can report it to Action Fraud online or call 0300 123 2040.
You can also contact Bedfordshire Police via Bedfordshire.police.uk/report or by calling 101.