POLICE are hunting a doorstep conman who stole precious jewellery from a Yorkshire Dales pensioner.

The man called at the home of an 86-year-old woman in Bainbridge, near Hawes, at about 10.50am on Tuesday.

He claimed the woman had a leak and asked her to turn on her kitchen taps. He then claimed he needed to go upstairs and turn on the bathroom taps.

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The woman followed him upstairs and saw him coming out of her bedroom.

After the man left, she discovered jewellery had been stolen including two gold rings, one sapphire and diamond and one ruby, and a gold locket.

The suspect is described as white, aged in his 40s and wearing a black jacket with the hood up.

He was wearing dark coloured trousers and was carrying a black or navy shoulder bag.

Police carried out house-to-house enquiries in the area today (Wednesday).

Inspector Mark Gee, from Richmondshire Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “This type of crime is one of the most cowardly and despicable crimes we deal with.

“Our advice to residents is not to answer your door to cold callers at all. And do not, under any circumstances, allow them into your home.

“We also appeal to relatives, friends and neighbours to reassure older people that it is not impolite to say no to callers and to refuse to answer their door if they do not know who is calling.”

Anyone with any information should contact North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option two and ask for Northallerton CID.

Alternatively, information can be passed to Crimestoppers on 0800-555-111 or online at www.crimestoppers-uk.org

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