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Elderly Peacehaven couple fall victim to distraction burglars

Police want to identify two men who visited an elderly couple at their home in Peacehaven at around noon on Saturday 13 April, claiming they were there to complete garden work, despite no such work having been requested.

The pair then entered the couple’s home to seek payment. While one man engaged the couple in conversation, the other searched their bedroom. After the men left, it was found that cash and jewellery were missing.

Both suspects are white. One was aged about 70, 6’4″, of broad build and with a broad face and unkempt curly grey hair. He was wearing a grey polo shirt and grey jogging bottoms, and spoke with what was possibly a Scottish or Irish accent.

His accomplice was in his 50s, 6′, and also of broad build. He had straight black hair, a black moustache and prominent ears. He also spoke with a possibly Scottish or Irish accent and was wearing a dark blue or black sweatshirt, blue jeans and dark-coloured trainers.

Detective Constable Andy Mountford-Laker, investigating, said: “This was a callous crime taking advantage of an elderly, vulnerable couple. Anyone who noticed anything suspicious or who may have information about the incident is asked to get in touch as soon as possible.”

They can do so by reporting details online or by phoning 101, quoting serial 554 of 13/04. Alternatively, information can be passed anonymously to the independent charity Crimestoppers, either online or by calling 0800 555 111.

Sussex Police is keen to stress that any unexpected callers who seek to enter private property or claim to be there to complete unsolicited work or otherwise act suspiciously should not be allowed in and should not be given any money.

Genuine callers will always carry official identification and be prepared to wait outside while householders check their veracity. Should there be any doubt concerning their bona fides, telephone 999 immediately and ask for the police.

For further advice on dealing with unknown doorstep callers, please see here.