Cold callers purporting to be ‘water board officials’ have been stealing from elderly and vulnerable residents in Worthing and Shoreham.
On six occasions in the past three weeks two men have called at addresses in Worthing and Shoreham and claimed to be ‘water board’ officials, police said.
One distracted victims in the kitchen while the second searched bedrooms for valuables, confirmed police.
All the victims are in their 80s and have lost cash and jewellery of great sentimental value.
One of the suspects is around 40 to 50 years old, of chubby build, wearing a fleece and combat style trousers, police said.
The second, aged between 25 and 30, has fair hair, added police.
One victim was targeted at her home in Princess Street, West Tarring.
Her daughter, who is not being named, said: “My 85-year-old mother has survived cancer, strokes and heart attacks.
“She is stronger than these spineless creatures will ever be.
“They must be so proud they caused so much alarm and distress to her by taking advantage of her better nature and stealing the most treasured possessions she had.”
Detective Constable Sara Liau said: “Please be vigilant and always ask callers for proof of their identity.
“There is no longer any organisation called ‘the water board’ and the modern water companies will visit by appointment anyway.
“If in doubt keep them out. Do not allow them to enter your property unless you are certain they are genuine, and if at all suspicious, call the police on 999.
“If you have any information about this heartless pair, or if you too or a member of your family have been approached by them, please contact us either online or via 101, quoting serial 1161 of 01/11.
Alternatively please contact Crimestoppers or phone the independent charity anonymously on 0800 555 111.