An investigation has been launched to trace three doorstep scammers who stole £10,000 from a South Tyneside pensioner.
Police have now warned elderly residents to be aware following the 'distressing incident'.
On March 19, a pensioner living in the Maple Street area of Jarrow agreed for three men to carry out some roofing work, for which they charged £500.
However, after completing the job, it is reported the tradesmen returned to the same address on the afternoon of March 21 and proceeded to distract the victim outside.
One man then entered the property and stole £10,000 which was being kept in a living room tin.
The victim did not report the burglary until the following week, when his family discovered the money was missing.
An investigation is ongoing to locate those responsible, and police have urged the community to be on their guard.
Detective Constable Stu Havery, of Northumbria Police, said: “This was a distressing incident that saw an elderly man conned out of a significant sum of money.
“We are committed to tracing those responsible, and inquiries are ongoing into this incident.
“I would like to take this opportunity to stress that criminals often target the most vulnerable in our communities when eyeing a quick win, especially those living alone.
“Please make sure you and any loved ones are wary if approached by doorstep tradesmen and be careful when keeping large sums of money in the house.
“Anybody with any concerns, or who is suspicious of a worker, is asked to contact police at the soonest opportunity.”
Officers are keen to hear from anybody living in the Maple Street area of Jarrow who may have information regarding the burglary.
The incident is believed to have occurred at some point between 12pm and 3pm on the afternoon of March 21, but the group of males had also been at the address for around an hour two days earlier.
One man is described as in his 60s, who was wearing a black cap and “builders clothes” and spoke with a local accent.
A second male is described as being in his late 30s, around 5ft 10, skinny with medium length brown hair. This male wore a dark-coloured donkey jacket and also spoke with a local accent.
A third individual is only described as being younger than the other two males.
The group appeared to be driving a dark-coloured transit-style van which is likely to have had ladders on the roof.
Anyone with information is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference 255 020419 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.