A 92 year-old man came face to face with an intruder at his home, disturbing the crook before he fled empty handed.
Police say it happened at around 6.30pm on Sunday evening at an isolated hamlet on the outskirts of Whitby.
The would be thief got in through the front door of the house which had been left unlocked and the pensioner found him lurking in the kitchen.
After coming face to face with the occupier of the property the intruder fled back out of the front door.
The Whitby Gazette is offering a £100 reward for information leading to the successful prosecution of the culprit.
It is just one of nine burglaries that have been reported since Christmas.
The other incidents were:
Stakesby Road, December 3. Attempted burglary where offender gets in through rear window and is disturbed by homeowner. Suspect arrested and charged and due to appear at Scarborough Magistrates Court on February 21.
Grosmont between December 21 and January 6, attempted burglary. Rear window smashed but suspects failed to get in to the property.
Love Lane between January 10 and 11. Glass in rear door broken, offenders steal keys to take car.
Ellerby, caravan break–in
North Promenade between January 26 and 27. Offenders get in through insecure door and steal keys to VW Polo before taking the car.
Stakesby Road between January 24 and 27 attempted burglary through window.
White Leys Road, February 7, between 10pm and 10.30pm burglary through unlocked kitchen window and steals 93-year-old woman’s purse. She sees light on downstairs and calls out at which point the offender leaves the house.
Cliff Street between January 16 and February 10. Back window of holiday cottage smashed. No entry gained.
Seven of the incidents have been in Whitby and two in rural villages and police are urging people to be aware and make sure property and posessions are secure.
Sgt John Webb, of Whitby police, said: “Clearly, the number of burglaries we have had since Christmas is a concern to us and we are working hard to ensure that more properties are not targeted.
“Residents can help us to reduce the number of burglaries by being security conscious and reporting any suspicious people or vehicles they see in their street.
“It is important to ensure that all doors and windows are locked, even when you are at home. Also, try and keep an eye on elderly neighbours and relatives and help them make sure that they have adequate security measures in place at their homes.”
A police spokesperson added that a 40-year-old man has recently been charged with burglary after breaking into a caravan at Ellerby.
He is due to appear at Scarborough Magistrates’ Court on Monday.