Bogus officials steal from vulnerable householder in Peacehaven

Sgt Stuart Mullins: Appeal for information
Sgt Stuart Mullins: Appeal for information

Police are urging people in Peacehaven to be on their guard after bogus water engineers tricked their way into an elderly woman’s home in the town’s Hoddern Avenue area to steal cash and jewellery.

The incident happened at around 4.15pm on Monday (January 29) when the 84-year-old victim answered her door to a man claiming there was trouble with local water supplies and he needed to check the flow from her kitchen taps.

While thus engaged a second man knocked at the door some 10-15 minutes later and said he needed to join his colleague.

Only after the men had gone did the householder realise an untidy search had been made of other rooms, with drawers pulled out and £30 cash and some jewellery having disappeared.

Both men were white and dressed in black clothing. One, aged 45-50 and around 5ft 2ins tall, wore a high-visibility top. The other, in his mid 30s, 6ft and of stocky build, also wore black with scarf and a hood pulled up to cover his head.

Sergeant Stuart Mullins, of the district police prevention team, said: “We’d like to hear from anyone who recalls seeing either of these men or who were approached themselves. Any details of suspicious vehicles or unusual activity in the area would also be welcome.

“In the meantime, we would ask householders to be on their guard and not to let anyone past their door unless they are certain they are genuine callers.

“They should always ask to see proper identification and, if in any doubt, ask callers to wait while locking the door and telephoning their employers. Genuine officials will understand and not mind waiting while this is done.”

Anyone with information that may help police is asked to report details online or phone 101, quoting Operation Inroad.