Police warning over spate of ‘distraction burglaries’ targeting vulnerable people around Lewes

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Lewes and Wealden police are investigating a spate of ‘distraction burglaries’ targeting vulnerable residents.

According to Sussex Police, householders have had property stolen by doorstep callers claiming to be from legitimate organisations, such as the utility services.

In one incident, reported yesterday (Wednesday) a 93-year-old woman living in Eastbourne had jewellery and cash stolen by a man she took to be a genuine workman.

According to police, after he left she found cash and expensive jewellery had been stolen from her home.

The suspect was described as being white, 5ft 7ins, of large build and with dark hair. He was wearing a navy blue jacket and workmen’s clothes.

As well as seeking information about any suspicious activity, police are 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.

“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.