Police are warning the public to be on their guard after a disabled lady was targeted by a distraction thief on the Esplanade in Seaford and had a gold necklace stolen.
Shortly before 10.30am today (Thursday October 30) the 63-year old woman was riding a disability scooter when she was approached by another woman who asked for directions to hospital.
She then offered the victim a necklace and a ring as a thank you gift, which the victim declined.
She put the necklace on the victim and in doing so stole the victim’s own gold necklace and her scarf.
The victim only realised the items were missing after the offender made off.
The suspect is described as being a dark skinned European with medium-length dark hair pulled back.
She was of large build and 5ft 5in and wore a dark calf-length jacket, a dark long skirt and had hooped earrings.
She is thought to have made off with a man in a blue coloured vehicle.
The stolen necklace is described as 24 carat gold with a pendant with Egyptian style figures on it.
Sergeant Stuart Mullins, of the local Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: “This appears to be a new type of distraction offence for the area.
“In the past we have had distraction thefts in around supermarkets where purses and wallets are taken, but to target jewellery is new in this area.
“We always urge everyone, especially the elderly or vulnerable. to be on their guard if approached by any strangers for any reason.
“If they ask for directions or claim that you have dropped something their intention may be to distract you while they or an associate steal something from you. So keep your wits about you and a firm hand on any valuables, purses or wallets.
“It may not sound very charitable to be suspicious of all strangers but I would rather you were too careful than become the victim of a crime.”
Anyone with any information about this or any similar offences is asked to contact Sussex Police via email@example.com by calling 101 quoting serial 465 of 30/10. You can also call the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111..