Waimate woman may be third victim

William Grogan aka Shane Calder. Photo supplied.
William Grogan aka Shane Calder. Photo supplied.
A Waimate woman is thought to be one of three women allegedly seduced and then swindled out of money and possessions by an online dating fraudster.

Christchurch police have released a photograph of 46-year-old Shane William Grogan, also know as Shane Calder, whom they are seeking in relation to a string of dishonesty offences.

Grogan, described as a European, 188cm tall and of thin build, is wanted on warrants in relation to charges of theft from a dwelling, using a document for pecuniary advantage and unlawfully taking a motor vehicle.

On at least three occasions he is alleged to have befriended women through internet dating sites, then travelled to meet them.

The most recent incident occurred near New Year when Grogan travelled to Waimate to meet a woman, aged in her 50s, he met through a dating website.

He stayed with her for six days but left after allegedly stealing valuable heirloom jewellery and a computer.

Police declined to reveal further details yesterday. Similar offences are alleged to have taken place with women in Palmerston North and Rotorua.

Acting Sergeant Chris Macpherson says the alleged offending was particularly deceptive and predatory.

''The offender has taken advantage of his victims after posing as a friend and gaining their trust along with access to their homes and belongings.

''While we are aware of these three cases, it is possible there are other victims of Grogan, or Calder, as they may have known him.

''We urge any other victims to come forward and contact police.''

Acting Sgt Macpherson said the case also served as a warning on the dangers of befriending strangers through internet sites.

''Not everyone on internet dating sites is a criminal - but there certainly are some people who use these services to deceive and prey on victims.

''We always urge people to be cautious about people they meet online.''

Grogan is thought to live in Christchurch, and anyone with information is asked to contact Christchurch police on (03) 363-7400.

Information can also be provided anonymously to Crimestoppers on 0800 555-111.

- andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz