Police are warning elderly Hastings residents to be on the lookout after reports of a ‘well-spoken woman’ carrying out distraction burglaries in the town.
Police say the suspect has targeted two women, aged 86 and 90, on separate occasions since the beginning of the month. Both victims live in the same block of flats in Denmark Place and police investigating the thefts believe they may be linked. Police say wallets, purses and handbags were reported stolen.
In one incident, on Monday, April 2, the thief befriended her victim by helping her home in windy conditions, only to steal cash from her purse once inside. Police say the same woman returned to help herself to more cash the following day and the day afterwards (Wednesday, April 4), snatched the victim’s handbag before running off. Police say she was accompanied by ‘a scruffy looking man’ on this last occasion.
Police say a second victim was persuaded to let a stranger into her home last Sunday (April 8), after a ‘glamorous woman with an educated voice’ claimed her grandmother had suddenly fallen ill and asked to use the victim’s telephone. During the incident, which took place at around 5pm, the suspect asked for a drink and also to use the toilet.
Only after she had left the property did the victim discover her purse containing cash, bank cards and jewellery was missing. Money was withdrawn from her bank shortly afterwards.
Anyone who may have information about either crime or who may have been approached in a similar way is asked to contact Sussex Police by phoning 101 or report online at https://sussex.police.uk/appealresponse, quoting serial 949 of 08/04.
Alternatively they can call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.