POLICE have issued a warning about bogus callers after an elderly woman was targeted by four men.

The woman, who is in her 70s and lives in Darlington, answered her door to a man who said he was from a water company.

While she was in the upstairs bathroom testing the taps with the man, she heard noises downstairs and discovered other men ransacking her house.

The thieves took jewellery and a quantity of cash.

Detective Constable Eamonn Clarke, of Darlington police, said: "She was in the kitchen, she answered the door to one of them, and I think she realised as soon as he walked in that something was amiss.

"He led her upstairs and he asked her to keep her hands on the taps so he could check the water in another part of the house.

"She got a shock when she found them ransacking the bedrooms and living room.

"She believes she saw four men, but we have a witness who saw three men running out of the house. She wasn't harmed but she was very shaken up."

The men made off in the direction of Morpeth Avenue.

A witness saw them fleeing and has given a partial description of the men.

The pensioner, who has not been named, described one as 6ft and well-built. He was wearing dark clothing and possibly spoke with an Irish accent.

Police have issued an e-fit likeness of the man.

Det Con Clarke said: "Our house-to-house inquiries haven't revealed anything so we hope that someone will come forward with information.

"We know that a bus was driving past at the time. There is a bus stop very near to her house, and so we are asking anyone who might have been on a bus, or driving a bus going past there, and who has any information, to get in touch.

He said: "We would advise anyone who is suspicious about someone at their door to ask for identification before they let them into the house.