Sussex Police released a warning earlier this morning reminding local residents, especially elderly and vulnerable individuals, to be on red alert for cold callers claiming to be ‘water board’ officials.
The news correlates with a current police investigation into a distraction burglary of this kind in Peacehaven. A man has stolen more than £700 from an elderly woman after claiming to be from the water board. Sussex Police have issued an e-fit image of the suspect.
He is described as white, 30, 5’6”, of medium build, with slightly curly light-coloured hair cut short at the sides.
At around 2.45pm on Tuesday 30th October the suspect visited an address in Arundel Road, Peacehaven. He asked to check the taps and was allowed in. Alarmingly, while the 85-year-old householder was distracted, he stole £735 in cash, along with bank cards and other paperwork. The man then left on foot.
Detective Constable Sara Liau said: “Please be vigilant and always ask callers for proof of their identity. There is no longer any organisation called ‘the water board’ and the modern water companies will visit by appointment anyway.”
Sadly this is not the only malicious event of this kind. On six occasions in the past three weeks two men, one around 40-50 years, of chubby build, wearing a fleece and combat style trousers, and the second, aged between 25-30 years with fair hair, have called at addresses in Worthing and Shoreham.
Anyone with any information is asked to report it online or call 101 quoting serial 681 of 30/10.
Alternatively, please visit Crimestoppers or contact the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.
For advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of burglary please see here.