AN elderly woman was left ‘deeply distressed’ when a distraction burglar walked into her home and stole her purse.

The thief gained access by claiming he worked for the council and was there to fix her toilet.

The woman, in her late 70s, was left so terrified by the incident that she is now considering moving house.

She had left her door unsecured as she was expecting a legitimate plumber, but instead a bogus workman stole her purse, containing £15 before leaving through the front door.

The incident happened in Tong Lane, Whitworth, between noon and 1pm on Monday.

The man was described as white and aged between 35 and 40 years old.

He was around 5ft 10ins tall and had light coloured hair, pale skin and red cheeks. He was wearing a royal blue tracksuit and a white fisher or cricket hat which had a rim the whole way around. The peak was turned up at the front and had blue lining.

Police are now appealing for anybody with information about the burglary to get in touch.

PC Ryan Waddington, from Burnley burglary team, said: “This man has deliberately preyed on a vulnerable elderly woman in her own home.

“The victim has been left deeply distressed by this incident, so much so that she is now looking to move.

“I would urge anybody who saw anybody acting suspiciously around the area on Monday lunchtime, or with any information that could assist us with our investigation to get in touch with me.”

Anybody with information should call 01282 472121 or send an email to using log reference LC-20130715-0734.

They can also call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.