Police warn about distraction burglaries

Police are investigating distraction burglaries where property has been stolen by doorstep callers claiming to be from legitimate organisations such as the utility services.

They say there have been incidents in Wealden, Eastbourne and Lewes districts, with one in Eastbourne yesterday where a 93-year-old woman had jewellery and cash stolen by a man she took to be a genuine workman.

He was described as being white, 5′ 7″ tall, of large build and with dark hair. He was wearing a navy blue jacket and workmen’s clothes.

Police are seeking information about any suspicious activity and keen to make family and friends of vulnerable people aware of the risks in admitting strangers into their homes.

Sergeant Amy Mason said: “We cannot stress enough the importance of not opening the door to anyone making an unexpected call.

“Genuine callers will not mind waiting while householders telephone the organisation they represent to check, and they should always be prepared to provide some form of identification. If a householder is in any doubt, they should call police on 999.”

Sgt Mason added: “It’s particularly important that this message gets passed around local communities so that people can be on their guard and help prevent such crimes occurring.”

Anyone with information can report details online or by phoning 101, quoting Operation Inroad.

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