On Saturday 30th January police received a report of a burglary in the Windsor Gardens area, sometime between 4.45pm and 6pm.
It was reported that the offender knocked on the door of an elderly person’s home claiming to be from Northumbrian Water.
The man who is described as being in his 40s-50s, short in height and wearing blue overalls, claimed he needed to test the water.
The resident let him in but suspicious, they went on to request ID and when told the ID had been left in the car outside, the resident took a photo of the ‘worker’, prompting him to cover his face and swiftly leave.
The photo shows the man shielding his face but detectives are sharing the photo as it clearly shows the clothing he was wearing on Saturday.
While distracting the victim, it is believed a second offender entered the home and stole £5000 in cash.
An investigation has been launched into the incident, and detectives are now appealing for anyone who witnessed anything suspicious in the area to get in touch.
Northumbria Police said in a statement:
“This was a cynical crime which saw people prey on a vulnerable member of our community.”
“The victim rightly suspected that something was not right and asked for ID. When no ID was presented he took a photo of the man.”
“Offenders often target the most vulnerable in our communities, especially those living alone, so I would ask the public to be vigilant when unknown people knock on their door. “
Anyone with information that can assist the ongoing investigation is asked to contact 101 quoting reference 869 300121.