Bogus charity collectors target town businesses

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Police are warning people to be on the look out for two con artists posing as charity collectors, following a series of thefts from business across East Sussex, including Bexhill.

At 3pm on Wednesday February 25, two men holding clipboards entered a shop in Sackville Road, claiming to be raising funds for an unnamed children’s deaf school.

Police advice to any business that receives a visit from two men answering these descriptions is to phone 999 immediately

Inspector Tony Wakefield

The men were acting suspiciously and made out they couldn’t talk. They were able to distract the victim and steal an iPhone 6 mobile phone.

The pair were described as Middle Eastern, aged between 20- 30, of medium build and height. Both were wearing blue jeans, one with a black jacket and the other a blue hat.

Two men then went to a number of shops in Cooden Sea Road and again were asking shop workers to support the charity and sign a petition. This time nothing was stolen.

Police believe the same men were involved in similar incidents which were reported to have happened earlier in the day at businesses in Hailsham and Crowborough.

At noon on February 25 the pair entered a shop, claiming to be collecting for a disabled children’s charity.

One of the men showed staff and customers a leaflet, while the other wandered around. It was later discovered that a mobile phone had been stolen.

Around an hour later, a shop in Vicarage Field, Hailsham, a mobile phone and debit cards were stolen by the bogus collectors.

Inspector Tony Wakefield said: “Police advice to any business that receives a visit from two men answering these descriptions is to phone 999 immediately.

“We are extremely keen to locate and speak to these two men. We would also advise people to keep their valuables locked or hidden away and never left in an easily visible and accessible place such as the top of a desk or counter.”

Anyone who saw the men should contact police via 101@sussex.pnn.police.uk or call 101, quoting serial 969 of 25/2 for the Bexhill incident.