Distraction burglary targets 80-year-old Ringmer woman

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A distraction burglary in which a purse was stolen from an 80-year-old woman in Ringmer has prompted Sussex Police to issue a warning.

Police urged residents to be wary of doorstep callers and told them they were under no obligation to let them in, no matter who they said they were.

The woman answered the door to her home in Lewes Road during the evening of Thursday February 7 to a man who claimed that two men were acting suspiciously in the area and he needed to check inside her house.

She assumed he was a police officer and let him in.

In an effort to distract her he then asked her to check around whilst he waited and when she returned he walked out.

She immediately became suspicious and found her purse missing from her handbag before seeing drawers had been searched.

Detective inspector Gavin Patch said: “It’s tragic that people will take advantage of the vulnerable and elderly in their homes.

“I would urge people to be wary of doorstep callers.

“You should not feel compelled to let them in regardless of who they say they are or who you think they are.

“Always ask for ID and if in doubt keep them out. A genuine caller won’t mind waiting while you verify who they are.”

The man was described as white, in his late 30s, about 5ft10 with dark brushed back hair, wearing a dark jumper and dark trousers.

Sussex Police are keen to trace this man and are asking anyone who saw any suspicious activity or has any information, to contact police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.