Money saved up to buy Christmas presents has been stolen from an elderly women in a ‘despicable’ distraction burglary at her Horsham home.
The victim was duped by two men posing as water board staff who targeted the home in Swindon Road at around 4pm on Monday.
Police say a man stated an ‘old pipe in the road had leaked and they needed to turn off the water and drain it’.
No ID was shown and the resident unwittingly allowed the criminal into her kitchen - believing he had closed the door behind him - where he turned off a stopcock.
Soon after another man appeared in the kitchen doorway and told the victim that they needed to drain the bathroom taps.
She was encouraged to go with the first man where all the taps were turned on and water fully drained.
The males then left the address stating they were now going to go and fix the leak and walked off along Swindon Road towards Purton Road.
Only after they had gone did the victim realise other rooms had been entered and money snatched.
“This is a despicable crime and the money stolen had been saved to buy Christmas presents and thus has caused great distress to the victim,” said DS Pink from West Sussex CID based in Crawley. “I would like to remind all residents to be on their guard in relation to unexpected callers going door to door and to always use a security chain and to request identification. If in any doubt then don’t allow them entry to your address and close the door. Report all such incidents to Sussex Police.”
One man is described as white, 35 to 40-years-of-age with stubble, short brown hair, with a big broad build and wearing a navy blue coat. The other is also white with the same build and wearing the same jacket, but slightly older with a very closely shaved haircut and southern accent.
Police are appealing for witnesses and any one with information can contact 101 quoting serial number 1101 03/12/12 or call the Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.