POLICE are appealing for people to look after their elderly neighbours following reports of bogus callers in the area.

The warning comes after a distraction burglary in Droitwich Spa and a number of incidents in Worcester involving officials claiming to be from the ‘water board'.

All reports relate to the over 70s being approached on their doorstep by people alleging to be from water companies in order to get into homes.

The distraction burglary in Droitwich happened on Thursday, May 31 at a house in The Dale, some time between 9am and 9pm.

A man claiming to be from the ‘water board' attended the property and asked the elderly homeowner to turn her bath taps on upstairs. She believed the man had gone outside, but when she came downstairs, she saw him in her lounge. After he had left, the victim discovered that £190 had been stolen from her purse.

The man who called at the property is described as white, in his 30s, with curly hair and of a stocky build.

"We take all crimes of this nature extremely seriously," said Detective Sergeant Dave Knight from Worcester CID. He added: "Unfortunately, we also received a number of reports of bogus ‘water board' officials calling at properties in the St Peters area of Worcester last week but thankfully, nothing was stolen in those incidents.

"These are despicable offences. Distraction burglars often target the elderly and other vulnerable people and I would like to remind them not to let strangers inside their home - whatever reason they may give.

"However, I would also ask local people to be our eyes and ears, particularly where vulnerable people live, such as sheltered housing complexes. Any cold calling, suspicious activity, unusual behaviour or strange vehicles should be reported to us and we will always do our very best to respond."

Anyone with information about the Droitwich distraction burglary can call Det Sgt Knight on 0300 333 3000, quoting 724S 310512, or contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.