Distraction burglaries in Bexhill and St Leonards

Sussex Police is investigating the incident
Sussex Police is investigating the incident

Detectives are seeking information about several incidents in Bexhill and St Leonards yesterday (Tuesday, April 12) in which bogus callers conned or forced their way into residents’ homes.

Some were in a block of flats in Preston Road, Sidley, and another in nearby Watermill Close.

Shortly before 1pm an 83-year-old woman answered her door to two men in overalls who claimed to be council workers needing to check ceilings due to a water leak.

They ignored a request to show proof of identity but are not thought to have stolen anything.

A similar incident occurred in a nearby flat in which a single suspect told an elderly couple he was from housing association AmicusHorizon and needed to check ceilings.

He walked in and while he was in the bathroom it was found another man had entered the property.

The couple were asked for £250 to supply a dehumidifier but the men left after being told the couple did not have the money.

In Watermill Lane between 1pm and 1.30pm two men barged past a 72-year-old woman when she opened her door, saying they were from AmicusHorizon and had come to repair a neighbour’s fence.

While one man kept the woman talking in the dining room the other went upstairs. The men took £70 before leaving.

Both were white, slim, clean shaven and estimated to be in their late 20s. Both wore blue fleece jackets bearing a ‘Regatta’ logo and blue jeans.

Other distraction-type burglaries were also reported yesterday in Brook Street, Polegate, and Bexhill Road, St Leonards.

Detective Sergeant Jason Tuck, of the Priority Crime Team, said: “House-to-house enquiries have been carried out and extra patrols deployed to reassure residents.

“Our advice to anyone finding a stranger at their door is not to let them in, no matter what they say, or unless absolutely sure they are genuine.

“Reputable callers will be prepared to provide identification and to wait outside for this to be checked with the company or organisation they claim to represent. If at all concerned, call police immediately by dialling 999.

“Meanwhile we would like to hear from anyone who may have recently experienced unannounced visits in the area or who may have seen anything or anyone suspicious.”

Anyone with information is asked to email 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or phone 101, quoting Operation Inroad.

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