A community in West Sussex has rallied around an elderly man who had cash stolen from him after a distraction burglary at his home.

The 94-year-old victim had answered the door of his home in Leylands Park, Burgess Hill to an unknown man who claimed to be from the water board.

The victim had then stayed with the man while he turned off the water supply in the kitchen, before leaving in a blue Ford Mondeo.

After he had gone, the victim noticed £200 had been stolen from his wallet, which had been in the pocket of his jacket in the living room.

Following the incident on March 8, the incident was circulated on social media, and to Neighbourhood Watch in Burgess Hill.

More than £200 has since been donated to the victim by Nina Richardson, a local resident who helped to raise the funds.

John Wright, chairman of Sussex Neighbourhood Watch, said:

“There is no excuse for taking advantage of elderly or vulnerable residents, and those who commit such crimes should be ashamed of themselves.

“While this incident has yet to lead to an arrest, we have a very active community in the area who all look out for each other, and are encouraged to remain vigilant.

“I am delighted that they have pulled together to raise the funds stolen from the victim, which he had intended to give to his granddaughter.”

Police said it is believed a second suspect may have entered the property while the victim was distracted, and stolen the money.

The first suspect in this case has been described as a white man in his 30s, clean shaven, of a slim build, and was wearing a blue denim jacket, and a black baseball cap.

Anyone with information is asked to report it online here, or call 101, quoting reference number 731 of 08/03.

Alternatively, contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.