A GOOD Samaritan was conned out of hundreds of pounds worth of jewellery after he was targeted by a gang.

Semi-retired Ian Garrod, of Pownall Crescent, Colchester, took pity on an emotional foreigner, who was begging for directions to get to the hospital in time to see her dying mother.

However, the 66-year-old was devastated after the gang of four stole his chain, worth almost £1,000, and drove off.

Police are appealing for information after the theft on the corner of Claudius Road and Mersea Road.

Mr Garrod said: “I was coming from the Co-op and got to the corner when a car pulled up.

“The woman was quite animated and said in broken English she had to get to the hospital to see her dying mother.

“I walked over to the car and gave her directions and she kept thanking me and had her hand on my coat.

“Then the car was speeding off and she had hold of my St Christopher and pulled it off.

“I grabbed her hand and some other jewellery fell out, but they got away.”

Mr Garrod is upset and furious about the theft.

“When I got home I was shaking with anger at getting caught out,” he said.

“I feel like an idiot. I thought I was helping someone who was desperate and I like to think I would always help people.

“I thought they were foreign and it was difficult enough for them not knowing the area.

“My wife gave this to me for Christmas 12 years ago and I wore it every day.

“It had St Christopher on the front and a plane, boat and car on the back, because I travelled a lot. I would really love to have it back.”

The gang included two men in the front and two women in the back of the black saloon.

The thief herself is white, eastern European and aged in her forties. She is very large and has several gold teeth.

Mr Garrod did manage to retrieve two items from her grasp, which have been passed to police.

PC Karen Mortimer said the thief dropped a chain and gold ring on the pavement, which the gang had previously obtained elsewhere.

The incident happened just before 1.30pm on Thursday Anyone with information should call Colchester police station on 101.