Bogus callers robbed a man of his safe at his Horsham home.
Three men called at Raymond Chastey’s house in Leith View Road at 9.40am on Tuesday, saying they were from “the water board” and that they were investigating a leak. They entered the house but Mr Chastey, 63, became suspicious and challenged them.
One of the men sprayed a noxious substance into his face before the gang took the safe, which contained cash and jewellery, and fled towards Crawley in a silver Vauxhall hatchback. Mr Chastey, who was badly shocked, was treated at East Surrey Hospital, Redhill, for eye injuries caused by the fluid. A police spokesman said the injuries were not believed to be sight-threatening.
One of the men is believed to be only 4ft 10in to 4ft 11in tall, stocky and in his 20s. He was wearing a grey NY baseball cap, grey trousers and a light top. The second man was 5ft 6in, slim and in his late-30s, with light-coloured hair, blue trousers with paint on and a blue shirt with a ‘Transco’ badge. The other was 6ft, in his 40s, with a moustache and a white top. All three were wearing gloves.
Det Con Phil Peadon said: “This was a despicable crime.”
Anyone with any information can phone police on 101, quoting serial 403 of July 24, or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 5551111.