Conmen targeting pensioners in scam

Suspicious Woman Opening Front Door --- Image by � Don Mason/Corbis
Suspicious Woman Opening Front Door --- Image by � Don Mason/Corbis

Conmen posing as staff from the water board have taken large sums of cash from elderly residents in Eastbourne.

The pair struck on the afternoon of Friday (January 4). At about 4pm, they called at an address in Cavendish Avenue where they gained entry by pretending there was leak down the road.

They told the resident, a man in his nineties, they needed to check the taps. He let them in, and when they left soon afterwards he found that around £400 in cash had gone missing. Less than an hour later, the men called at an address in Hill Road where the elderly couple living there allowed them in on the same pretext. This time more than £800 cash was found to be missing.

Police have issued a description of the men in a bid to catch the culprits. The first man is described as white, aged around 27, 5’9-5’10 and of average build. Police say he has a round ruddy face, full lips, a local accent, and was wearing a checked shirt and yellow top at the time of the incidents.

The second suspect is also described as white, aged between 40 and 45, 5ft10in to six feet tall and well-built. The victims have described him as ‘strong looking’ and unshaven with black stubble. He has short black hair and was wearing a dark coloured bobble hat, a dirty dark material jacket and black rubber gloves. Unlike his partner in crime, he has a northern accent with slurred speech.

Detective Inspector Ian Williams said, “This pair of thieves preyed on elderly and vulnerable people and we want to find them before they strike again.”

“We remind residents, especially the elderly, to be cautious when receiving unexpected callers. Always ask for ID, and if in doubt, keep them out and phone the police via 999. We also advise against keeping large sums of money around the house. Put it in a bank, building society or other savings account.”

Anyone with information is asked to call police on 1201, quoting serials 1046 and 1143 January 4. Crimestoppers can be called on 0800 555 111.