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Lewes Weekly Update
Alert message sent 14/05/2020 15:31:00
Information sent on behalf of Sussex Police
Thursday, 14 May 2020
News and appeals
Teenager and man charged with bike robbery in Peacehaven
A teenager has been arrested and charged with robbery of a bike in Peacehaven.
The 17-year-old from Hove who cannot be named due to his age was detained after a 16-year-old boy was threatened and had his Trek mountain bike stolen as he cycled in South Coast Road on 5 May.
The 17-year-old boy was also charged with handling stolen goods in relation to the robbery and appeared at Brighton Magistrates' Court on 7 May. He was released by the court on bail to appear again at the same court on 4 June.
Conna Gregory, 25, of Grand Parade, Brighton, was also charged with handling stolen goods in relation to the robbery. He has been released on conditional bail to appear before Hastings Magistrates' Court on 1 July.
Animal lovers warned of pet buying scams
Police are issuing a warning after several people in Sussex have become victims of pet buying scams.
The suspect typically advertises puppies or kittens online and uses the Covid-19 outbreak as the reason the victim can’t come and see the pet.
They will often send photos or videos and persuade the victim to make a deposit or even full payment in advance. The suspects may also try to get the victim to cover other unforeseen costs such as insurance or vaccinations, after they’ve made the initial payment. The pet is never provided.
A woman in her 20s from Worthing responded to an advert for a puppy posted on Facebook. The dog was said to be for sale for £400 plus a £100 delivery fee as it was in Ireland, she was conned into paying a £250 deposit.
The victim received an email that appeared to be from a shipping company advising that a life insurance payment of £300 must be paid in order to ship the puppy from Ireland to England.
She spoke to the seller as this was not agreed and was told it was due to the Covid-19 outbreak and was refundable. The victim became suspicious following the interaction and contacted police.
A man in his 30s, also from Worthing, responded to an advert for a puppy on a pet selling website.
After speaking to the seller and seeing videos of the puppies he sent them a £700 deposit and agreed to pay the additional £200 upon collection of the dog.
The seller ceased communication with him and he never received the pet.
Action Fraud has reported a significant spike in pet buying scams since the Covid-19 outbreak. Nationwide it has seen 669 people lose a combined total of £282,686 in March and April, after putting down deposits for pets they have seen advertised online.
PC Bernadette Lawrie, Financial Abuse Safeguarding Officer for Sussex and Surrey Police said: “Criminals are on the lookout for any opportunity they can capitalise on – and clearly the extraordinary times we find ourselves in are no exception.
“It makes complete sense that you would not be able to go visit an animal in person at the moment and fraudsters are exploiting this to encourage people to part with their cash.
“Please think very carefully before sending money to a stranger. Make sure you’ve done your research and always trust your instincts.”
To help protect yourself from scams like this:
Do your research – Research sellers carefully before sending over any money, check their terms and conditions and returns policy.
Trust your instinct – If something feels wrong or seems too good to be true, then it probably is. Never be rushed into making a decision – if it doesn’t feel right then walk away.
Choose a payment method that protects you – If you decide to go ahead with the purchase, avoid paying by bank transfer as that offers you little protection if you become a victim of fraud. Instead, use a credit card or a payment service such as PayPal.
Report crime like this to Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040.
If the victim is vulnerable, report to Sussex Police online or by calling 101. In an emergency always dial 999.
For information about Operation Signature, Sussex Police’s campaign to identify and protect vulnerable victims of fraud, see the Force website here.
Driver killed by timber falling from lorry in Newhaven
A man died after timber fell from a lorry on to the car that he was driving in Newhaven.
Emergency services were called to New Road at 7.33am on Wednesday (May 13). Sadly, the 28-year-old driver of the BMW from Burgess Hill died at the scene.
The road remained closed at 1pm while investigation and recovery work was carried out and was not expected to reopen until mid-afternoon. The Health and Safety Executive has been advised.
A 32-year-old man from Eastbourne was arrested on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving and remained in custody at 1pm on Wednesday.
Anyone who witnessed the incident is asked to email email@example.com or call 101 quoting Operation Grove.
Woman suffers serious facial injuries in Newhaven robbery
Sussex Police have arrested a man in connection with a robbery in Newhaven.
A woman was walking down the steps between Brighton Road and Hawthorn Rise, Newhaven, around 8.30pm on Sunday (10 May) when she was assaulted. Her mobile phone, purse, cash, bracelet and handbag were reported as stolen.
The woman, in her mid-30s, suffered multiple facial injuries before running away from the area. She has since been taken to the Royal Sussex County Hospital, in Brighton for treatment.
Detective Inspector Sophie McGarel said: “This is a fast paced investigation and an arrest of a man was made shortly after the robbery occurred.
“The victim has suffered serious facial injuries, including a potential broken jaw.
“Did you see what happened? We would like to hear from anyone who may have witnessed the robbery.
“We will be conducting high visibility patrols while the full circumstances are being investigated, but we believe this to be an isolated incident with no threat to the wider public.”
A 19-year-old man has been arrested at a nearby property on suspicion of robbery. He remains in police custody while the investigation is ongoing.
Anyone who witnessed the robbery or believes they have information to assist our investigation should report it online or call 101 quoting reference 1335 of 10/05.
An attempted burglary occurred on Queens Road, Lewes, on 07/05/2020 whereby the suspect(s) attempted to gain access to a garage (Ref: 47200075913)
An attempted burglary occurred on Collingwood Close, Peacehaven on 11/05/2020 whereby a suspect attempted to gain entry to a residential property via a window (Ref: 47200077206)
A burglary occurred on Dumbrells Court Road, Hassocks, on 08/05/2020 whereby a shed was broken into and batteries stolen from within (Ref: 47200078431) Help us keep Sussex safe
If you saw or heard anything, or have any information about any incident in this message please contact us online, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 101, quoting the reference number provided.
Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111, or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org
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Eastbourne, Lewes and Wealden team (Police, Prevention team, Sussex)