Bogus water board thieves strike in Eastbourne

Sussex Police

Police are warning residents to be wary of cold callers after thieves posing as ‘water board’ official stole more than £1,000 from an elderly Eastbourne woman.

At 3.20pm on Saturday, February 18, two men called unannounced at a flat in Bourne Street, Eastbourne, posing as water board employees.

They gained access on the pretext that there was a local water problem. While one of them engaged the 89-year old resident in conversation in the kitchen, the other man went elsewhere in the flat and stole £1,500.
The men are both described as white, and in their thirties, about 5’5″-6″ and of stocky build with, bald or shaven heads,  short beards and moustaches. Both wore black and white check shirts.

One may have worn a checked jacket and dark trousers. The other man wore a white hooded top
They both spoke with what is described as a foreign accent.
Detective Constable Andy Mountford-Laker said: “If any other local residents have had men calling at the door and asking to come in on the pretext of being from the ‘water board’ we would like to knonw about it.

“Please contact us 101 quoting serial 1177 of 18/2.
“Meanwhile, please contimue to be aware and cautious about anyone calling at your door unannonced and do not let them in.

“This check list of tips may help you;

•Attach your door chain before opening the door to strangers
•Water company staff and contractors always carry identification
•A company uniform and vehicle logo are things to watch for
•Remember, if you are unsure, don’t let them in – keep them out
•Employees and contractors of genuine companies will always be happy to wait whilst you check their identification. Your can check the identity of water contractors by telephoning Southern Water on 0845 278 0845.
•If you are suspicious and the callers are still present or nearby call the police via 999.”
Detectives are considering possible links between this offence and four similar offences which happened in Brighton, Hove and Crawley during the past week.


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