Hastings business raises money for victim of distraction burglary

The owner of a Hastings town centre business and his customers have raised more than £500 for the victim of a distraction burglary.

PSCO Shah and PCSO Nasir and Albert's neighbours Nathan Weir and Georgia Webster as Mark Straughan hands a cheque to Albert. Picture: Hastings Police
PSCO Shah and PCSO Nasir and Albert's neighbours Nathan Weir and Georgia Webster as Mark Straughan hands a cheque to Albert. Picture: Hastings Police

Albert, who lives in St Leonards, was approached by a man, on May 5, who came to his house claiming he worked for a local housing association. The man offered to help him by getting some food shopping.

After entering the property, the suspect stole cash and banks cards from the property, according to Sussex Police.

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Albert's neighbours Nathan Weir and Georgia Webster alerted the police, who are currently investigating the incident.

After police issued an appeal for witnesses, Mark Straughan - the owner of Hastings restaurant Downtown American Diner - and his customers raised £545.79 for Albert, which was given to him yesterday (May 19).

Hastings Police said: "This is a heart-warming example of the community coming together and helping vulnerable people at a very difficult time."

The incident from May 5 is still being investigated by Sussex Police.

The man who entered the property has been described as a white man who appeared to be in his early 30s, about 5ft 9in with short black slicked black hair wearing a blue polo shirt and black shoes.

Officers are urging the local community to be vigilant to prevent any further incidents occurring.

Investigator Caroline Bendell said: “This incident has caused distress to the victim.

“This appears to be an isolated incident but we’re asking people to be vigilant in your local area and look out for elderly neighbours to make sure they’re OK.

“If you know anything about this distraction burglary or have seen anything suspicious please report it to police.”

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to report online or call 101, quoting serial 621 of 05/05 or contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.