AN 86-year-old woman has become the victim of a distraction burglary at home in York.

The woman was distracted by a man claiming to be offering gardening work at her home in Huntington Road at 1.20pm yesterday but when she went back inside she found her front door was open and her handbag had been moved.

She then went upstairs and discovered her bedroom drawers had been searched and another handbag had been moved.

In total, two purses were stolen which contained a small amount of cash and house keys.

PC Sarah Scott of York Priority Crime Team, said: “Targeting elderly people in this way is deplorable. Such crimes greatly affect victims’ confidence and can have a lasting effect on their health and wellbeing. In this case, the victim was very distressed when she discovered what happened.

“I am appealing to members of the public for their help as we continue to investigate this crime. Whether they recognise the suspect from the description, saw something suspicious in the area, or who believe they have been targeted themselves

“I am sure members of the public share our desire to bring these offenders to justice and stop them from stealing from any more elderly victims. If you can help in any way, please contact the police without delay.”

A man knocked on the window of the victim’s home in Huntington Road and beckoned her to go outside, North Yorkshire Police said.

The victim went outside via a side door and spoke to the man who claimed to be offering gardening work and he kept her talking for around five minutes.

Police are appealing to anyone who saw any suspicious activity in Huntington Road and to anyone who believes they have been contacted by the suspects, to get in touch.

The suspect who spoke to the victim is described as white, aged 20 to 25, around 6ft tall and of medium build. He was clean shaven with fair to light brown hair which was longer and wavy on the top. He was wearing a “smart” dark coloured tracksuit and spoke with a local accent.

Anyone who has any information or recognises the man from the description is asked to call North Yorkshire Police on 101, select option 2 and ask for York CID, or email

If you wish to remain anonymous, you can pass information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
Please quote reference 12140088923 when passing on information about this crime.