A GANG of thieves preyed upon an elderly woman by pretending they were investigating a gas leak before stealing cash from her New Ferry home.

Police say the distraction burglary has left the pensioner, who is in her late seventies, feeling scared in her own home.

On Wednesday, January 23 at around 9pm a man gained entry to the victim's home on New Ferry Road by falsely stating he was investigating a gas leak.

He said that he needed to check the gas meter inside the property.

While dealing with his request three other men entered the house.

It is believed they ransacked rooms upstairs before running away with a large amount of cash.

They are described as being 'quite short' with Eastern European accents.

CCTV, forensic and witness enquiries are ongoing and officers will be distributing crime prevention advice and offering reassurance.

Inspector Paul Parry said: “The information we have on the four men is rather limited, other than the first being described as quite short, with them all having Eastern European accents.

“Regardless of this, we want to do everything we can to track these four men down. It still amazes me that people will stoop to this level to con vulnerable people and I want to find these men before someone else falls victim.

“This incident has understandably left the elderly lady feeling scared in her own home, something that no one should ever have to feel. We are supporting her at this difficult time and I want to assure the people that we will act on any information given to find those responsible to this or similar crimes.

“Officers have undergone house to house enquiries and looked at CCTV, but both haven’t returned any positive results."

Anyone with information is being asked to call 101 quoting reference number 0518222017 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.

If you think you, or someone you know may have been scammed, you can also report it to Trading Standards through the Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 03454 04 05 06 or online at www.adviceguide.org.uk