Pensioners targeted in ‘similar’ St Leonards distraction burglaries on same day

Police news
Police news

Two pensioners were targeted in two ‘similar’ distraction burglaries on the same day in St Leonards, with police appealing for witnesses.

An 88-year-old man discovered his watch and £300 in cash was missing after two men entered his Amherst Road home claiming they were plumbers on Thursday, July 14.

Later that day a 66-year-old woman found her bag had been stolen after two people said they needed to check the pipework in her kitchen on Paynton Road.

It is not clear at this time if the two offences are linked but there are clear similarities between the two, police said.

Detective Constable Alex Campbell, from the East Sussex Priority Crime Team, said: “We are appealing for any witnesses to these crimes and anyone that may have seen the offenders in the area or had people knock at their doors with the same story.

“We would ask people to be on their guard against this type of offending and our advice is to never let anyone to your home without checking who they are first.

“Any genuine person knocking at your door will have ID on them which we advise people to check and contact the company first before allowing them into your home.

“If you do let anyone in your home ensure your front door is closed behind them so nobody else can follow them into the address whilst you are elsewhere.”

At around lunchtime, a man went to the 88-year-old victim’s address and told him his neighbours were having problems with their water supply and he needed to check his as well.

While in the kitchen checking the taps a second man appeared and they both then left.

The victim later discovered his silver Rolex watch was missing as well as around £300 in cash.

The first man is described as white in his thirties with short black hair, an athletic build and slight stubble on his face – he was wearing a dark coloured zip-up jacket and dark blue jeans with thick soled black lace-up shoes.

The second man was also white, with ginger hair.

Then at around 9.30pm, again a man came to the 66-year-old victim’s address claiming her neighbour had a leak and he needed to check her pipes.

The woman allowed the man in and while he was in the kitchen he called out to a second person to come in to the address.

It is believed the second person entered the victim’s bedroom and searched it, stealing a bag containing her keys, bank cards and other personal items.

The victim never saw this other person but after getting suspicious she told the first man to leave.

This man is described as white but very tanned, in his 20’s with a foreign accent, about 5’8” and had short black hair which was wavy at the front.

He was wearing a black windbreaker type jacket.

If you have any information contact police on 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101, quoting serial 1745 of 14/07.

Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-org.uk.

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