Police are appealing for witnesses to a distraction burglary in East Grinstead on Friday morning (November 9).
At around 11.35am a man called at the London Road home of a woman in her late 70s saying that there was a problem with water in the area.
The woman let the man into the property to assist her in turning the water off. After he left she discovered that jewellery had been stolen.
Detective Sergeant Sian Harding of West Sussex CID said: “It is believed that while the man was in the kitchen with the victim another man entered the property through the front door which had been left ajar and stole jewellery.
“I would encourage anyone who receives a caller to check their identity. Don’t be afraid to ask them to call back later or use the phone book to call the company and check if you have suspicions.
“We are appealing for anyone who saw two men acting suspiciously in the area on Friday morning, or anyone else who received a caller claiming to be from the water board to contact police.”
The man who called at the door is described as white, aged in his 50s, approximately 6ft, of heavy or stocky build, clean shaven, with short hair. He was wearing a light brown coat.
Items stolen included a gold ring which had a turquoise stone in the centre with diamond studded stars surrounding it and a gold ring with a blue sapphire and diamonds surrounding it.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Sussex Police on 101 quoting serial 0617 of 9/11 or the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.