AN elderly woman living in Hereford was burgled by a man claiming to be a carer.

The woman, who is in her 90s, was asleep in her Hinton Road flat at around 3.30am last Wednesday.

She awoke to find a man next to her bed claiming to be a carer, but when she got up later that morning she realised her handbag had been stolen.

The man is described as white, slim and was wearing dark clothing with a hood pulled over his head. The victim said his voice sounded young.

Detective Sergeant Tim Dugmore of West Mercia Police said: "The woman does not have a carer and it is believed that the man had managed to steal a spare key to the property in order to enter the flat.

"Thankfully, there was no money in the handbag - only a pair of gloves - but clearly, due to the time of day, this is an unusual incident and we take all reports where the homes of vulnerable people are burgled extremely seriously.

"I would further like to remind people to ensure that spare keys are kept out of sight of doors and windows, and that they are not hidden in places outside the home such as under a mat or a plant pot, where they could be easily taken by an opportunistic thief."

Police also want to hear from anyone who has come across the stolen handbag, described as navy blue with a long shoulder strap.

Anyone with information can call police on 0300 333 3000 quoting reference 423S 121212.