Conmen dupe Brighton woman, 92

Posted On 17 Feb 2012 at 7:07 pm

Another pensioner has reported being conned by a bogus caller, this time in Brighton.

A 92-year-old woman answered her door in Davey Drive, Hollingdean, to two men at about 12.30pm yesterday (Thursday 16 February).

They said that they were from the gas board and that there had been a gas explosion behind her house.

They told her that they needed to come in and check the gas supply.

She let the men in and went upstairs to wait.

They left 15 minutes later, telling the elderly woman that they had finished and there was no danger.

She then realised that £450 had been stolen from her home and called the police.

Officers searched the area and carried out house-to-house inquiries but the suspects were nowhere to be seen.

One of the men was described as Arabic looking, aged 20 to 30 years old, with a slim build and about 5ft 9in tall.

He had a slim face, spoke with a husky voice and was wearing dark clothing and had a lanyard around his neck.

The victim was unable to provide a description of the second suspect.

The incident comes two days after a woman in her eighties was conned by a bogus water board official in Downland Drive in Hangleton.

A similar scam in Pease Pottage, close to Crawley and the A23 and M23, left an 88-year-old man several thousand pounds out of pocket yesterday lunchtime.

One of the suspects was described as white, in his thirties, 5ft 7in tall, with short dark hair and a dark jogging suit.

It follows another case on Tuesday (14 February) in Gossops Green, Crawley, when the victim was a woman in her eighties.

Police are considering whether the latest incidents are linked to each other or to the two similar distraction burglaries on Tuesday.

Detective Sergeant Kate Witt, from Brighton and Hove CID, said: “This type of crime against the elderly and vulnerable is appalling.

“We cannot stress enough to residents to please not allow anyone into their home they do not know.

“Always check their ID and tell them that you are going to phone the company they claim to be from before they can come in.

“Genuine workmen will wait and won’t have a problem with this.

“Don’t keep large amounts of cash in your home and call 999 immediately if you are in any way suspicious of the caller at your door.

“Finally, if you have elderly relatives or neighbours please remind them to be alert to these bogus callers and to never let people they don’t know into their homes.”

Anyone with information about these incidents is asked to call Sussex Police on 101 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.

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