DETECTIVES investigating a spate of distraction burglaries are urging pensioners not to allow strangers into their homes wearing gloves.

The warning comes after at least six elderly pensioners in Blackburn and Darwen were robbed in their homes over the last week by men posing as water board officials.

In the latest incident an 88-year-old woman had several thousands of pounds stolen from her home after allowing in two men to check her water pressure.

During the incident at 9.30am on Saturday, the men claiming to be officials from the water board distracted the pensioner by asking her to fill pans with water. But, as one man kept the lady talking the other searched her home for cash, police said.

She didn’t realise anything was wrong until the men left her Roe Lee Park home. The men are described as white and of medium build. One man is described as in his 40’s while the other who wore a deer stalker hat with flaps over his ears was around 20-years-old.

Police believe the pair fled the scene in a blue VW Passat.

Sgt Eric Halford, of Blackburn’s Target team who is leading the investigation, said: “This is a despicable crime targeting an elderly pensioner.

“I urge people to follow some simply safety precautions — always check for ID before allowing someone into your home, never let anyone in who turns up wearing gloves, if you are concerned call the company where the official says they are from or call the police and they will check them out for you. We are linking this incident with at least another five in the area.”