Police believe three pensioner attacks in Littlehampton and Storrington are linked

Two Littlehampton men in their nineties and a Storrington man have been mugged in what Sussex Police believe could be coordinated attacks.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 5:10 pm

At the beginning of February, a 94-year-old man was approached by a woman in a headscarf in Station Parade, East Preston, pretending to be deaf and mute.

Carrying a clipboard, she gestured to him to sign her petition through his car window and grabbed him for a ‘hug and a kiss’, during which she removed his Rolex watch from his wrist and sprinted off towards the sea.

Her victim, who wished to remain anonymous, said he had owned the watch for 50 years, having been given it as a gift during a business trip to Singapore.

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“She pretended to kiss me and I tried to resist, but when I was struggling she was undoing the strap around my wrist,” he said.

“I’m in no condition to be chasing after anyone – it certainly wasn’t a very nice thing to happen.”

She snatched his Rolex watch from his wrist, police said, and made off towards East Street.

Police described the woman as slim, 5ft 5ins tall and wearing a colourful dress.

Police said the man, who is in his 80s, was approached by a woman with a clipboard asking for donations.

The victim gave her a small donation, after which she tried to take a watch from his wrist before a passerby intervened. She left empty-handed.

She was described by police as white, aged between her 20s and 35, with shoulder-length brown hair. She was wearing glasses and an olive green coat, police said, and made off in the direction of High Street and School Hill.

A spokesman for Sussex Police confirmed all three cases were being treated as a series and have been passed to the specialist West Sussex Community Investigation Team.

Anyone who witnessed any of the incidents, or who may have information, can contact police online or by calling 101.

Alternatively, the independent charity Crimestoppers can be contacted anonymously through 0800 555 111.