On Tuesday 18 May two men called at the address of a man in his late sixties in Vanbrugh Close, Bewbush, said they were from the Council and were checking for water leaks.
Police said, they were in the address for some time and after they left the resident found that a valuable coin collection had been taken. Both men were described as white with accents that were not local to the area, wearing Hi-Vis yellow jackets, medical masks and black baseball caps.
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A police statement said: "On the following day, a man described as of southern European appearance and accent, with short black hair, wearing medical mask, a grey jumper with motif on the front, and blue jeans, called at an address in Garrick Walk, Tilgate, saying he was checking for a drainage problem.
"After he left the residence, a woman in her nineties, realised that a small safe containing several thousand pounds cash had been taken, as well as two sapphire rings, some saving books and a passport. However the books and passport were later found abandoned in Southwater.
Police have not yet established any connection between the two offences but are keeping an open mind.
PC Matt Hollingdale of Crawley CID said; "If you were in those areas on 18 or 19 May and saw any suspicious activity, or if you have had similar callers recently, please contact us either online (link will be added) or by calling 101, quoting serials 554 of 18/05 or 932 of 19/05.
"These type of crimes are very infrequent in this area and you can help us keep it so by ensuring suspicious activity is regularly reported - using 999 if suspects are actually present.
There are a also number of specific ways you can prevent distraction burglary. Always remember "if in doubt, keep them out".
- use your door viewer to see who’s there:
- if you open the door put the chain on first:
- always ask for ID and check it with the company before letting somebody into your home:
- use the phone number advertised in the phone book or online, as the number on their identity card could be fake. For a utility company, call the customer service department. Close the door while you do this:
- remember that genuine callers won’t mind checks. If you feel at all unsure, schedule a time for the caller to come back when a friend or relative is there
for pre-planned appointments with utility companies, a password scheme can be set up.
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