A man who posed as a council repairman and then stole money from the home of an elderly woman has been jailed for seven years.
John Roberts, 54, from Oswaldtwistle, called at the 83-year-old’s home in Preston in April and told the woman there had been a complaint about a loose slate on her roof.
He told her he had been sent to fix it and it would cost £25 - a reduced rate for pensioners.
Roberts, of Havelock Street, watched his victim take the money from her handbag and then once she had left the room he took around £200 from her purse before making off.
He was later linked to the crime by a DNA sample that was taken from the scene.
Appearing at Preston Crown Court he pleaded guilty to burglary and was sentenced to seven years in prison.
Insp David Brown, of Preston police, said Roberts preyed on an elderly woman, who until this incident had lived on the street for more than 50 years without being a victim of crime.
He added: "She has been left feeling very distressed about the incident - she is usually very careful about who she answers the door to and this highlights just how devious Roberts was.
"He has been handed a significant sentence by the courts and I hope that this serves as a warning to others who may be thinking of targeting older members of our communities.
"I would urge all residents to check the identity of anyone who calls at their homes unexpectedly - and use telephone numbers from the phone book, rather than identification cards to do this. If you have any doubts, don’t let the person in and call the police."