Bogus waterboard officials steal from elderly Brighton resident

Sussex Police

Bogus water board officials have stolen cash and precious rings from an elderly Brighton resident over the weekend.

The 91-year-old man was at home in Wolverstone Drive at about 2pm on Saturday, February 25, when two men called at the door to say they were from the water board and needed to talk to him about doing some emergency work in his garden.

They entered and one engaged the resident in conversation whilst the other man moved round the house.After they had left, the victim found that £115 cash, his late wife’s wedding ring, another silver ring, and a tie pin, had been stolen.

They are both described as white, clean-shaven, and about 5’8-9″ in height.

The man who kept the victim talking was in his early twenties, and had a full head of hair coloured between auburn and black and cut short. He was wearing a dark coloured waist length jacket or thick fleece, and dark trousers, and spoke with what is described as a London accent.

The second man appeared very similar in height and build, though his hair was a little darker.

Detective Constable Emma Vickers said: “This was a despicable crime carried out against an elderly man.

“We ask anyone who was in the area on Saturday afternoon and who saw these men, or who has had similar approaches recently, to contact us as soon as possible via 101 quoting serial 1093 of 25/2.

“You can also call independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 11.”

DC Vickers advises residents to follow six key points to avoid being caught out by con men.

These are:

•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 five similar offences which happened in Brighton,Hove and Crawley earlier this month.

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