CALLOUS burglars stole money from a woman in her 90s after telling the victim her house needed work.

Police are calling for anyone with information to come forward after the incident, which happened in Ferndown at around 1.20pm on Monday, May 13.

The victim was approached by a man in Victoria Road at the junction with Albert Road. He told her he was carrying out work at a neighbouring home and said he'd noticed her property needed work.

He then offered to do the work for her, but said he would need £500 upfront for materials.

The victim said she only had £200, which she gave to the man.

He said a friend would show her the parts of the shed and fence that needed looking at while he went to get a receipt.

Another man then went to the victim's house and started taking her around to other parts of the house.

Detectives believe the first man then returned, went inside the property and took at least £550 from the victim's handbag, which she's left inside the house.

On the same day at around 12.15pm, a man in his 80s was approached by a man in Victoria Road. The man told the victim he'd been working at a neighbour's home and said the neighbour had recommended he contact the victim to do some work on the chimney of his property.

The man said he had already been on the victim’s roof and done some work at a cost of £270, but would need a further £90 to finish it off. He tried to persuade the man to return home and give him the money but the victim said he had to go out.

He asked for the man’s phone number so he could arrange for him to come round and collect the money and was under the impression he was going back to complete the work.

When the victim returned home later he saw no work had been done to his chimney. He did not have any further contact with the man.

The man was described as white, around 30 years old, about five feet nine inches tall and clean shaven. He was wearing a baseball cap and blue zipped-up top.

PC Matt Brennan, of East Dorset police, said: “We do believe this incidents are linked and are carrying out a number of enquiries to identify the men involved. We have also visited the victims to offer reassurance and advice."

Anyone with information, or those with dashcam fitted to their cars who drove in Victoria Road near Albert Road between 11.30am and 12.15pm on Monday, should contact police by calling 101, quoting 55190071826.

PC Brennan said: “Finally, I would like to ask residents to be vigilant and not be forced or coerced into commissioning work by people who turn up unexpectedly, even if you are told it's urgent."