AN 85-year-old woman had her handbag stolen by a sneak-in thief.

The bag contained a black and white purse, cash, a mobile phone and a library card.

"The lady was in the front room of her house in Cragdale Road in Berwick Hills when someone came in via the front door," a spokeswoman for Cleveland Police said.

Loading article content

"Officers understand there was a man and woman in the area at the time (between 6.30pm and 7.30pm on Friday 24th January) knocking on doors and telling residents they were selling insulation under a Government scheme."

Police are keen to identify these people and anyone with information is asked to contact PC Steve Rookes of the Middlesbrough Integrated Neighbourhood Team 2. Alternatively please contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.