Elderly woman targeted in ‘distraction burglary’

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Police are appealing for witnesses to a distraction burglary at a Worthing property, a spokesperson has said.

The elderly occupant of an address in Queen Street answered the door to a man at around 5.30pm on Sunday, January 15, a spokesperson said.

He stated that the neighbours had locked themselves out and he needed access to their rear garden in order to assist, said the spokesperson.

Having gained the victim’s confidence, the man entered the property, asked the home owner if she had any valuables and then stole two keys from a drawer before making off, according to the spokesperson.

The suspect is described as a chubby white man, in his mid 20s, 5ft 6ins and with short dark hair, the spokesperson confirmed, adding that he was smartly dressed wearing a navy blue jacket and trousers.

Detective Constable Gavin Percival from the Priority Crime Team said: “I would ask that if you saw anything suspicious at this time or know who is responsible please do not hesitate to get in touch.”

Any witnesses or anyone with information, call 101 quoting serial 860 of 15/01 or report online at https://sussex.police.uk/contact-us/response-to-appeal/

Alternatively you can report to the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or at https://www.crimestoppers-uk.org/

Crimestoppers describe a distraction burglary as where offenders ‘trick or dupe’ an occupant to distract them, often allowing another person they are worthing with to gain access to a property and commit a burglary.

The elderly are particularly vulnerable to distraction burglarly, it adds.

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