Police are linking three distraction burglaries – two of which took place in Lewes.
Officers investigating the offences have been struck by the similarity in e-fits created with the help of victims and have appealed for help in identifying the suspect.
The first incident occurred at 2.30pm on Friday (December 4) in Newlands Road, Rottingdean, when an elderly disabled woman sat in her living room suddenly became aware of a man standing beside her.
He tried to distract her, asking for money for the church, and then snatched a quantity of cash before making off.
At around 1.45pm on Saturday (December 5) a man called at a property off Brighton Road, Lewes, claiming to be from the water company, called at the home of another elderly woman. He pushed past her and went into a bedroom from which jewellery worth some £2,000 was stolen.
He left on foot but a dark blue, older-style medium-sized family car was seen parked nearby, containing two people. It may be that this vehicle was involved in some way.
Then just before 2pm the same day in Baron’s Down Road. Lewes, yet another elderly woman opened her door to a man claiming to be from the water company because a leak had been reported.
He went to the bathroom and then approached his victim asking for money. She pleaded she had none and he left empty-handed.
In all three cases the victims were frail and vulnerable women, all more than 90-years-old. The suspect has been generally described as a white man in his 40s to 50s, 5’ 7” - 5 ‘8”, of medium build, clean shaven, bald or with receding hair and with a pale complexion.
He spoke with a local accent and was wearing a reddish-brown flat cap and a brown sports jacket.
Detective Constable Richie Davidson, of the East Sussex Priority Crime Team, said, “These incidents all involved elderly women who were left confused and traumatised by having their homes entered and demands for cash made by someone who clearly had no concern whatsoever for their age or welfare.
“We are keen to trace the offender and bring him to justice for these particularly nasty crimes, committed against people in no position to resist.”
Anyone who saw anything suspicious at any of the locations, who may be able to identify the suspect or who noticed the dark blue saloon car in Lewes is asked to email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 101, quoting serials 787 of 04/12 (Rottingdean), 893 of 05/12 (Lewes 1) or 965 of 05/12 (Lewes 2).
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