Infamous expat thief and conman James Joseph Robert Whitlow and girlfriend Jamie Louise Rhodes caught stealing and arrested in Phnom Penh along with Argentine Daniel Zaccanti.
Regular readers of Khmer440 are undoubtedly familiar with the name James Whitlow. Whitlow is an expat in Cambodia hailing from the lovely city of Preston in northern England. He has also lived in Tenerife, Spain.
He is also known as Jay Whitlow. Also known as James Whildlow. Also known as Stuart Breakell.
Also known as . . ah, forget it. I can’t keep up with all of this scammer’s aliases.
Back in November 2017, an American expat musician named Ned was having trouble with his landlord. The landlord had confiscated Ned’s music equipment. And probably his cat.
Someone told Ned that a man named James Whitlow could help resolve the problem with his landlord. Whitlow then convinced Ned to give him $1500, which Whitlow promised to use to pay off a high ranking police official who could get Ned’s stuff back. Ned did so. Of course, Whitlow pocketed the $1500 and ran off, leaving Ned high and dry with no music equipment, no cat, and now missing $1500.
In the three years since then, there have been numerous reports posted online by expats and local businesspeople saying that James Whitlow (who has lost a lot of weight over the last few years) has scammed them or stolen stuff from them.
An expat who saw the discussion of Ned’s plight on Facebook posted that “Jay” Whitlow had also scammed him and a friend.
A few weeks later, someone in Ireland who googled Whitlow’s name and saw Ned’s story contacted Ned and sent this message reporting that Whitlow was trying to extort his friend’s mother in Ireland:
2018 – 2019
Ned reported in early 2018 that his sources informed him that Whitlow had been arrested and was being detained awaiting deportation. However, it appears that information was incorrect and that Whitlow never left Cambodia.
In August 2018, there were online reports that Whitlow was scamming people in Siem Reap.
Whitlow apparently returned to Phnom Penh, because in February 2019, Swiss Food Asia posted on Facebook that Whitlow had twice ordered food without paying and skipped out of two hotels without paying.
Whitlow (using the name “Whildlow”) had contacted Swiss Food Asia and claimed he was a teacher earning $2000 a month at Brightline International School. He asked to have food delivered to Jasmine Terrace Villa and pay tomorrow when he got his salary. Swiss Food Asia graciously (and stupidly) agreed to let him pay later. He never did.
Whitlow apparently tried the same scam on Brooklyn Pizza around the same time. He ordered pizza and then told the delivery driver that the ATM ate his bank card.
The driver then called the owner of Brooklyn Pizza delivery. He saw right through Whitlow’s scam and told his driver not to give Whitlow the food. He also went to Whitlow’s guesthouse and talked to the staff. The staff said that Whitlow was running the “lost ATM card” scam every night and had even borrowed money from the guesthouse staff and of course hadn’t paid for his lodging.
The owner of the guesthouse, Jasmine Terrace Villa, later confirmed that Whitlow did a runner from the guesthouse without paying.
A month later, there was a report posted on Kampot Noticeboard that Whitlow and his girlfriend Jamie Louise Rhodes had left #10 Guesthouse during the night leaving all bills unpaid.
Who is Jamie Louise Rhodes? She’s a self-described real estate professional from Leicester who moved to Cambodia at least six years ago and became, what else, an English teacher.
Whitlow and Rhodes ran the same guesthouse runaway scam on Sundance Inn and Saloon in May 2019. They stayed there and said they couldn’t pay right away because of a “problem with the bank.” Then they disappeared and stopped taking the Sundance manager’s calls.
Whitlow and Rhodes went off the radar for about year. Then someone posted in the Black List Cambodia Facebook group in May 2020 that the thieving lovebirds were still in town, and “last heard doing pharmaceutical assisted robberies.” It’s unclear if that meant they were getting high and robbing people or if they were drugging their victims and robbing them.
A Facebook user responded to that post by saying that it was ironic that Whitlow was a thief because his sister scammed him out of millions in inheritance. Come on, that’s absurd. “Please loan me $200, I’m just waiting on a massive inheritance from home” is one of the most overused lines in the Cambodia expat scammer playbook.
In August, a Frenchman posted in the Phnom Penh & Expat Forum facebook group that a British man using the name “Andrew Brennan” had rented a room at his mother’s guesthouse. Not only did he skip out without paying, he also stole two TVs and a “bunch of other stuff.” He was accompanied by a Western woman and another tall, short haired Western man.
The Frenchman posted photos of this TV thief “Andrew Brennan.” It was Whitlow.
On November 25, a poster purporting to be a German business owner wrote online that a professional expat thief “is doing serious damage to delivery companies or shops and restaurants who deliver as well to the owner of the last apartment he stayed in.”
The German reported that the thief had stolen $2,500 using multiple identities and phone numbers. His modus operandi was ordering food or more expensive items to be delivered to him, and then telling the delivery driver he needed to show the goods to his girlfriend for her approval. Then he would run off without paying. This expat thief apparently scammed Food Panda out of several hundred dollars of wine using this scam.
On the same day, police arrested Whitlow, Rhodes, and an Argentine accomplice named Daniel Zaccanti for stealing an iPhone 11 and a watch from a Cambodian phone shop owner. If the name Daniel Zaccanti sounds familiar to you, it may be because he was featured on Khmer440 back in February for skipping out on a hotel bill.
Whitlow and Zaccanti reportedly visited the phone shop to look at phones. They later messaged the proprietor, Nuon Phirum, asking him to deliver a red iPhone 11 and a Huawei GT2 watch to them at Himawari hotel.
Mr. Nuon met Zaccanti outside the Himawari. Zaccanti told him he needed to show the phone to his girlfriend. Zaccanti then walked away quickly with the phone and watch and jumped into a Lexus RX300 driven by Whitlow and they drove off. Whitlow, Zaccanti, and Rhodes were arrested for this crime soon after.
Whitlow has apparently told police his name is “Stuart Breakell.” Police announced his arrest under that name. We all know that “Stuart Breakell” is James Whitlow though, because (a) it looks just like Whitlow, (b) Ned has confirmed on the Cambodia Police facebook page that it’s Whitlow, (c) Whitlow is known to run delivery scams just like this, (d) he was arrested with his known girlfriend/accomplice Jamie Louise Rhodes, and (e) both Whitlow and “Stuart Breakell” have the same weird penis-like tattoos on their left arm.
Whitlow is also the perp described in the November 25 post online about a Western thief using multiple identities who scammed Food Panda and other businesses out of $2,500. The German who posted that information listed phone numbers used by the perpetrator of the food delivery scams. One of those phone numbers is 077 875093.
The article in Post News about the recent arrest of “Stuart Breakell” for the iPhone delivery scam states that police confiscated an Oppo mobile phone with SIM card number 077 875093. That’s the same phone number used by the Food Panda wine scammer.
James Whitlow a.k.a. “Stuart Breakell,” Daniel Zaccanti, and Jamie Louise Rhodes are currently being detained awaiting prosecution.
The passport that Whitlow provided to the Number 10 Guesthouse in Kampot expired in February 2019. It is unknown if Whitlow ever renewed that passport, or if he has been overstaying his visa for years. Whitlow may have given police the name “Stuart Breakell” because he knows he’s facing deportation from Cambodia if the police learn of his true identity.
Notably, “Stuart Breakell” is not some random fake name that Whitlow made up, like “Art Vandelay.” According to Facebook and LinkedIn, there’s a real and totally innocent Stuart Breakell living in deepest darkest Lancashire. He’s Facebook friends with a Sophie Whitlow and James Whitlow from Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
There are reports that Whitlow has a half brother named Stuart. It appears that when Whitlow got arrested, he gave police the name of his half brother. This is a total dick move, because now anyone who ever googles the name “Stuart Breakell” from now until eternity will find erroneous online reports of him scamming a Cambodian mobile phone shop owner.