CONMEN targeted an 88-year-old woman after a radio announcement was made about water problems elsewhere in Lancashire.

Intruders turned up at the pensioner’s home in the Skipton Old Road area of Foulridge asking to check the woman’s supply.

But while she distracted by one of the men, his accomplice went through the house and stole a number of valuables, Coun Graham Waugh said.

Later while the pair kept the woman talking, one of them requested tools so that they could carry out some repairs to the water system, according to Coun Waugh.

Out of sight of the OAP, one of the intruders used various implements to rip a wall safe from its mountings so it could be stolen.

One of the raiders was white, around 5ft 7in tall, wearing a grey jumper and blue jeans with trainers. His accomplice was around the same height, with short, dark brown hair and a moustache. He wore a blue jacket.

Coun Waugh, who represents the village, said: “This was of particular concern because there had been an announcement about water quality on the radio that same day.”

The raid took place around 12.30pm on Thursday, November 3.

Insp David Hodson, of Pendle police, said: “Anyone who works for these particular agencies will always have identification and we would urge people to check this before they allow anyone into their homes.”

His colleague Insp Phil Davies, the neighbourhood policing head for Pendle, has also warned people to be on the lookout for a suspect van, seen in the Colne area but not involved in the Foulridge raid.

The van, believed to have been acquired at auction, has ‘South West Water’ on the side. But the company do not operate in the area and police are urging householders to be wary.