A Lancashire man charmed his way into the homes of women looking for love in order to steal from them.

Oliver Anthony Alexander, from Preston, stole goods including a wedding ring, iPad, television and personal sentimental items from two women who has trusted him and welcomed him in to their homes.

The prolific thief, who went by a number of aliases, went after vulnerable women before moving in with them.

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He then made off with their belongings, leaving them out of pocket and without items that meant a lot to them.

He was jailed just days after the offences were reported to police in the town of Ystradgynlais, Wales.

Sergeant Craig Morgan said: "This was a very unusual case, and one unlike typical reports of romance fraud where victims never actually meet offenders in person.

"Rather than asking his victims to send money to a bank account, Alexander was actually charming his way into their homes through a series of lies, and taking the first opportunity he could to steal from them."

WalesOnline reported how Alexander's last victim had met the 44-year-old online before letting him stay with her at her Powys home for a week.

He then left her home with her TV, a gold wedding ring and a suit belonging to her late father.

The victim reported it to police on Saturday, July 17.

Hours later, a second woman arrived at Ystradgynlais police station to say she too had allowed Alexander to move into her home before becoming suspicious of his behaviour.

She then asked officers to help to get him to leave.

Sgt Morgan added: “Two officers visited the woman’s home and arrested Alexander on suspicion of theft.

"His car was searched, and found to contain the stolen suit and TV, as well as numerous contact details for women and love letters.

“An iPad was also found, which we discovered belonged to a woman from the South Wales Police area.

"She was contacted and told us she had met Alexander two months ago and had taken him in."

Alexander had changed his name twice by deed poll - once from Oliver Alexander Davenport while his original name was Joshua Jamie McKenna.

He also had a history of offending including a conviction for sexually aggravated assault.

Prestonian Alexander appeared at Merthyr Magistrates' Court on July 22 where he admitted two counts of theft. He was sentenced to 12 months in prison, six months for each offence, and was also handed restraining orders against the two victims lasting two years.

"Alexander, as he is now known, is clearly a prolific offender who preys on vulnerable women by telling them a series of lies to make out he is someone he’s not,” said Sgt Morgan.

“He has crossed police borders to commit offences and charmed his victims who trusted that they were in genuine relationships with him.

"I would like to thank the victims for their honestly and strength in reporting these offences, and hope the sentence offers some comfort.”

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