Detectives in Northallerton are appealing for witnesses after an elderly woman was targeted by a bogus workman.
Just after 5pm on Sunday 13 March 2011, a man claiming to be a water board official visited the home of an 89-year-old woman in Picton, near Yarm.
He walked through the back door of the house and told the victim that there was a problem with the water further up the road. He instructed her to turn on the kitchen tap and watch to see if any blue dye ran from it.
As the elderly victim followed the suspects instructions, he stole her handbag from the living room and left the house.
The victim challenged him as he left, however he got away with her possessions and is believed to have left the area in a vehicle.
The victim’s handbag was later recovered on the road leading from Hornby to Great Smeaton.
The suspect is described as white, aged in his mid-20s, with a medium build and fair hair. He was wearing a grey tracksuit and walking boots.
Officers are appealing to anyone who can help the investigation to come forward.
Detective Constable Gillian Gowling, of Northallerton CID, said: “Distraction burglaries are cowardly, heartless crimes and cause great upset to the victims.
“I am appealing to anyone who can help the police with their enquiries to come forward as soon as possible.
“We would especially like to hear from anyone who saw any suspicious people or vehicles in the village around the time of the incident. Picton is a very small place and it is possible that someone will have seen something or someone unusual on Sunday afternoon.”
Anyone with information that can help the police investigation is urged to contact DC Gillian Gowling, of Northallerton CID, on 0845 60 60 24 7, quoting reference number 12110040429.
Alternatively, Crimestoppers can be contacted on 0800 555 111, if you wish to remain anonymous.