POLICE are warning householders to be on the alert after a Whitby pensioner in her 80s was burgled on Wednesday night.
At around 7pm, the woman, who lives alone, was disturbed by a knock at the front room window.
A man claiming to be from Yorkshire Water then gained entry via a side door.
The male informed the victim that there was a water leak at the next door address and that he needed to be in her property to carry out checks.
Once inside the victim’s property, he caused her to be distracted, enabling him to make a search of the building prior to stealing property inside, then making off.
The male offender is described as in his late 20s to 30s, of slim build, dark complexion and sharp features.
He was 5ft4 tall, with short dark hair, and had Teesside accent.
He was wearing a collared shirt and a grey/black coat.
Detective Constable Mark Hattersley of Whitby CID said: “Criminal offences such as this are thankfully not common place in Whitby.
“Nevertheless, I would urge vigilance, and if any persons attend your address claiming to be officials from utility companies or similar, then please request ID and if still in doubt refuse entry and call the police.”
Anyone with any information should contact Whitby Police on 0845 6060 247.