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March 5 2013.

Police are appealing for witnesses after an elderly lady let a man into her Eastbourne home who claimed to be from the water board but then stole jewellery and cash from her.

The suspect knocked on the 85-year-old victim's door at around 9.30am on Tuesday 26 February. When inside the house in St. Anthony's Avenue he then stole several antique rings and other items of jewellery along with cash before leaving.

Detective Constable Gary Baker of the East Sussex Priority Crime Team said: "This is a callous offence. The suspect has targeted a vulnerable, elderly lady by conning his way into her home under the pretence that he was working for the water board and then stealing her most sentimental items. I would appeal to anyone who was in the area and saw or heard any suspicious activity to please get in touch. You can call 101 quoting serial 0988 of 26/2 or alternatively leave an anonymous message with the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111."

The suspect is described as white, aged 30-40, 5' 8" of slim build, with dark short hair. He was wearing a dark top with lapels, dark trousers and described as smart in appearance.

DC Baker continued: "Please do not let anyone into your home unless you are one hundred percent sure that they are who they say they are. If in doubt, keep them out. Genuine employees of facility companies will be happy to wait whilst you call the company. If you have elderly relatives and neighbours, please remind them not to let anyone into their home without checking their ID with the company that they claim to be working for."