Coffee shop conmen caught by off-duty police couple

A PAIR of hapless crooks found themselves in hot water when they tried to defraud a Battle coffee shop - as two off-duty police officers enjoyed a quiet latte nearby.

The men walked into The Lounge on Saturday lunchtime and attempted to use forged coins and bamboozle staff by using a common ‘money change’ trick.

But the whole episode was seen by police couple Inspector Lee Lyons and PC Keren Keeler-Moore, who were sitting in the High Street coffee shop.

Insp Lyons, who leads the team of response officers based in Hastings and Battle, and Hastings-based PC Keeler-Moore, followed the men out the shop and detained them by St Mary’s Church.

Back up units arrived and they were arrested on suspicion of fraud and using counterfeit coinage.

One of the men, a 21-year-old of no fixed address, was also wanted by the Metropolitan Police for questioning over allegations of burglary and harassment.

Both men have been bailed by Sussex Police until June 20.

Insp Lyons said: “People who chose to try and engage in fraudulent activity should beware, as they never know who may be sitting nearby.”