Get involved: Send your news, views, pictures and video by texting SUPIC to 80360 or email us.
Bogus callers target elderly
ELDERLY householders are being warned not to open their doors to distraction burglars after a spate of raids across Sussex.
Conmen have turned up on the doorsteps of elderly people in Brighton, Lewes and Horsham trying to trick their way in.
Detectives think the same suspect was responsible for two raids in Brighton on Thursday. Cash was taken from a couple’s home in Millthorpe Road, Horsham, at about midday on Thursday.
Police believe an accomplice sneaked in while a conman pretended to be check- ing their gas supply. At Newton Road, Lewes, at 1.30pm on the same day, a man claimed to need to check a 76- year-old woman’s water supply – but he left when she became suspicious and asked him to go.
At 3pm on Thursday a man was turned away from a doorstep in Wilson Avenue, Brighton, when he claimed a gas main was broken nearby.
Half an hour later officers believe the same man called at an elderly woman’s home in Stephen’s Road. In this case he said there had been an explosion nearby and water would need to be turned off.
The man was described as white, 5ft 9in, in his late 20s to early 30s, and slim with short black hair.
He was wearing a white shirt with navy stripes and dark blue trousers. 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. The victim at Stephen’s Road said the man was English.
The thief 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 is 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.