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Distraction raids in Brighton, Lewes and Horsham
Elderly householders are being warned not to open their doors to distraction burglars after a spate of raids across Sussex.
Cash was taken from a couple’s home Millthorpe Road, Horsham, at about midday on Thursday. Police believe an accomplice sneaked in while a conman pretended to be check their gas supply.
At Newton Road, Lewes, at 1.30pm, a man claimed to need to check a 76-year-old woman’s water supply – but he left when she became suspicious and asked her to leave.
A man was turned away from a doorstep in Wilson Avenue, Brighton, at about 3pm when he claimed a gas main was broken nearby.
At 3.30pm a man called at an elderly woman’s home in Stephen’s Road, saying there had been an explosion nearby and water would need to be turned off.
After he went upstairs, claiming he needed to check the bathroom and toilet, he left saying he would be back in an hour. The woman realised cash had been stolen from her bedroom.
At Wilson Avenue the man was described as white, 5ft 9in, in his late 20s or early 30s, slim, with short black hair, He was wearing a white shirt with navy stripes and dark blue trousers.
The Stephens Road suspect was white, English, slim, in his 30s, with short very dark brown or black hair and wearing a white shirt with dark trousers. He told the victim he had two children.
An identity card in a plastic sleeve was shown at both homes.
Inspector Bill Whitehead, of Sussex Police, said: "We need people to be aware that these bogus callers are targeting the elderly, using this particular line or story of water and gas supply contamination.
“They seem to be wearing some sort of ID cards around their neck.
"This a despicable crime preying on the more vulnerable members of our community.
"We particularly need to get a description or registration number of a vehicle they must be using."
Anyone who saw the men or any suspicious vehicles is asked to call Sussex Police on 101, quoting Operation Inroad.