RESIDENTS in Ore are being warned to be on their guard against a woman who is stealing from elderly and vulnerable people.
The female appears to select a victim and then claims to be in distress.
She has been known to say that she is pregnant and needs money for a taxi to go to the hospital, that she is extremely unwell and needs cash for medication or simply that she has no money for gas and electricity.
Vulnerable people targeted have handed over money. She has also been known to enter the homes of some of her victims and steal cash or other items that may be of value.
The offender is known to frequent the bus stop and cash machine in Fairlight Road.
She also waits at the steps at the side of the Co-op and the Post Office in Old London Road where she targets victims as they come out after withdrawing their pension or benefit money.
The offender is described as white, aged about 35, approximately 5ft 7ins tall, of medium to stocky build, with very long brown hair often pulled back tight into a pony tail.
She usually wears a dark coloured baseball cap, a tracksuit top with a hood and bottoms in a variety of colours, and trainer type shoes. She has distinctive scars on her arms and sometimes she is seen with a mobile phone attached to a lanyard around her neck and/or with headphones.
Sergeant Dave Townsend, of the Hastings Neighbourhood Police Team, said: “So far two people have come forward as victims of this woman’s behaviour.
“We would urge anyone else not to feel discouraged to report a crime if this has happened to you. You may feel ashamed or embarrassed that you have been duped by her convincing tales, but your evidence will help us to catch and prosecute her.
“This woman needs to be stopped. Anyone with information or who thinks they may be a victim is asked to call police on 101 quoting 1027 of 17 April. Alternatively, call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.”