Distraction burglary warning

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POLICE are warning residents to be on their guard following a series of distraction burglaries in East Sussex, including Lewes, today (Thursday July 5).

The first was in Winchelsea Road, Rye, at about 10.30am when a white man in his 20s, with dark hair, wearing a smart navy blue suit and described as well groomed, knocked on the door and claimed he was fitting a kitchen a few doors away.

He said he needed to check the water and went inside the house before leaving shortly afterwards.

It is believed a second man also entered while the occupant was distracted.

A couple of hours later in Victoria Avenue, Hastings, a man knocked on the door of a house and gave the same story about fitting a kitchen in a nearby property.

He was let inside to look at the stopcock and told the victim he would return in about 20 minutes’ time.

It does not appear anything was stolen. The man is described as white, 6ft tall, of slim build, with short dark hair and wearing a navy/black suit.

Just after 1pm, a man - described as being in his 40s, with curly black hair and wearing a black suit - was refused entry to a house in Shepherds Close, Bexhill, after the homeowner became suspicious.

At about 2.30pm in Abergavenny Road, Lewes, a woman let a man into her home after he said he wanted to check the water pressure.

He left shortly afterwards and it appears items have been stolen.

He is described as being in his 40s, with dark hair and wearing a dark blazer and trousers.

A police spokesperson said: “In all four of these offences the same story was given to the victims by each man, who claimed he was fitting a kitchen nearby and needed to check the water.

“It isn’t clear at this stage whether it is just one offender or two men - however, we are linking all four incidents due to the similar MO used to gain entry or attempt to gain entry.

“We are urging people in the area to be on their guard as there have been four offences in the space of just a few hours.

“If someone knocks on your door and you are not expecting them, then do not let them enter and call police if you have any suspicions at all. If any vehicles are seen please obtain the details if safe to do so.”

If anyone has information about any of the incidents then please call police on 101. If you think a crime is in progress, or you see a man matching the descriptions above, then dial 999.