POLICE in Barnsley have urged residents to be vigilant after elderly people were targeted in a series of burglaries.

On November 26, it's reported that a man purporting to be a plumber gained access to a property in Queen’s Drive in Gawber.

The elderly resident, a 93-year-old woman, allowed him inside to use the bathroom but he reportedly left a short time later. Nothing is believed to have been taken.

On December 1, it's reported that a man gained access to a property in Ainsdale Court, stating he had been to visit a neighbour.

Once inside, he reportedly asked the 67-year-old resident for a hot drink. When he left a short time later, it was reported that several purses containing money had been taken.

On December 4, police were called to a property in Smithies Lane following reports of a burglary. It's believed that the resident, an 80-year-old man, found an unknown man inside his property.

The man informed the resident he had brought some medication but did not have anything with him. A quantity of cash was found to be taken a short time after the man left.

Police are also investigating a reported burglary at a property in West End Avenue, Royston. On December 7, an 85-year-old man allowed an unknown man wearing a hi-vis jacket into his home.

The man stated he worked for the council and had come to inspect the heating and wall insulation.

The man was in the property for a short time before leaving, when the resident discovered that wallets and cash were missing.

Detective Inspector Sharon Hancock said: "With Christmas just around the corner, burglars will be looking for any additional opportunity to enter properties with the prospect of stealing valuables and money.

"In these cases, the suspects have tricked unsuspecting and vulnerable members of our community in order to gain entry to their homes.

"I’d urge any resident that has concerns about bogus officials or rogue traders to call police so we can investigate."

If in doubt, ask to see identification and don’t be afraid to close and lock your door while you make any necessary checks to verify their identity."

Anyone with information should call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.