Two men broke into the homes of two elderly victims in the same block of flats in St Leonards on Friday evening (December 14).
At around 6pm the pair managed to get into Silverdale flats in Paynton Road and break into one property with keys stored in the key safe outside the door.
Once inside they convinced the occupant, an elderly lady, that she had been robbed and tricked her to help warn her neighbour.
Her neighbour also let them in to check her flat. However both victims were robbed of around £1,800 between them and one victim also found her bank card, cheque book and a photo frame was missing.
Detective constable Dave Elcock said: “These men prayed on two vulnerable and elderly women, who trusted them and allowed them to carry out this callous act.
“Both these ladies have been left very upset by this incident and we really need witnesses who might have seen them in the area. One man is described as white, between 30 and 40, around 6ft and thin. He was wearing a black knitted hat, a black waist length jacket with large front pockets and black gloves.
“The second man is described as white and chubby and a similar age to the other suspect and was wearing a black beanie hat.
“Entry to the first flat was made using the victim’s door key which was in a key safe attached to the wall outside her flat door. Anyone using a key safe needs to ensure that they are locked and secured; ideally only those with a vital need to access should be aware of the combination number, if you think someone else knows it, change it.
“Challenge anyone who knocks on your front door and ask for ID which you can look at properly if they claim to be from a company.
“If you feel suspicious or think what they are doing is wrong call 999 immediately. If you saw these men in the area please call us on 101 quoting serial 1436 of 14/12.”