DETECTIVES have launched a manhunt after an elderly woman was tricked out of £4,000 by a doorstep conman in Pendle.

Police say the thief posed as a trader, claiming to have done work on a house belonging to a woman in her 80s in the Cowgill Street area of Earby.

He demanded £480 from the OAP after he said he had carried out work on her chimney - after asking her to check her fires.

Det Con Martin Legdon said he followed her into the house while she went to get the money.

But when she started to count out the £480 he grabbed a pile of cash from her and run off. The incident took place last Saturday.

DC Legdon said: ““This is an appalling crime where a vulnerable lady has been conned out of a large sum of money.

“Understandably, she has been left upset and angry following her ordeal. This person must be caught and I would appeal to the public for information in helping track this heartless thief down.

“If anyone saw a man acting suspicious in the area between 3pm and 4pm then I would ask them to get in touch and contact the police.”

The detective also urged residents to take extra care when allowing people into their homes - and ensure traders showed valid identification.”

Potential witnesses are being asked to call Pendle CID on 01282 472144, the new non-emergency number 101 or Crimestoppers, in confidence on 0800 555 111.