A father and son team of horsebox builders is under investigation by the fraud squad at Durham Constabulary after disappearing, apparently with hundreds of thousands of pounds of clients’ money.
A news story in last week’s Northern Echo triggered an avalanche of calls to local police from customers. Most had lost more than £5,000 to the firm, Just Trucks, often by paying a deposit – at least one lost £30,000. Local police passed the case to the fraud squad on discovering its scale and complexity.
Just Trucks, which was run by Englishmen Gary and Ryan Upson and advertised in the farming press, had been operating from near Darlington for two years. Police received complaints about the company in April, but investigations escalated when the pair vanished from their premises in late May.
DC Tim Lerner, who is in charge of the case, says: “We have spoken to about 30 complainants so far, but I suspect that this is just the tip of the iceberg. People are calling from the north of Scotland right down through England.”
Anyone with information should call DC Lerner (tel: 0191 386 4929, ext 2261).