Neighbour thwarts potential distraction burglary in Worthing

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AN attempted distraction burglary of an elderly man in Worthing was thwarted by a quick-thinking neighbour.

Some time between 1.30pm and 3pm on Wednesday (February 9), a man called at a house in Arundel Road, claiming his uncle was carrying out work on a neighbouring property and needed the victim’s telephone number so he could discuss some work needed on the sewage system.

The suspect then left.

A short while later, the man received several phone calls from two men who provided the names Long and Woodcock. They said they needed £10,000 to cover insurance costs for sewage machinery to be placed on his land while work was carried out next door. The victim said he couldn’t afford to pay and they agreed as he was over 65 they would reduce the cost to £3,000.

A Sussex Police Spokesman said: “The victim called a taxi to visit his bank, but as he was leaving the house he stopped to say hello to a neighbour and told her about the calls. She stopped him from leaving and called the police.”

The suspect is described as white, of stocky build, with short dark hair and wearing black dungarees over a tracksuit.

Police believe the incident may be linked to two similar ones in Bognor Regis and Littlehampton on the same day and are appealing for anyone with information to call 0845 60 70 999.