POLICE are hunting for a gang of thieves who stole more than £10,000 from a pensioner in broad daylight.
Three men raided the home of an elderly man while he was gardening in front of the block of flats where he lives.
The theft happened at around 2pm on Saturday in the leafy Liberton area of Edinburgh after the suspects entered the unlocked flat through a common stair.
The pensioner noticed the men going into and coming out of the building and found that a five-figure sum of money had been taken from his home in Gracemount Avenue.
Police believe the same gang may have been involved in a nearby incident later that afternoon in Ravenswood Avenue where three men convinced an 84-year-old woman they were City of Edinburgh Council plumbers.
They fled in a blue Renault Laguna after the elderly woman’s neighbours challenged them.
All of the suspects are described as being white, with two in their mid 30s.
The main suspect is described as being slightly older in his early 40s, 5ft 6ins tall, medium build, with brown hair, and wearing a brown sports jacket and dark coloured trousers.
Police do not currently have a description of the other two men and have urged anyone who was in the two areas at the time to come forward.
A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: “We believe these two incidents may have involved the same group of men, and we are looking for any information that can help us track them down.
“At this time we would like to warn people of the dangers of bogus callers operating in their neighbourhood, and the importance of home security.
“In particular, we would urge residents not to keep large amounts of cash in their home, and to secure their property by locking all doors and windows, even if they are only popping out for a few minutes.
“People should always verify the callers identification before allowing them access to their home, and if in doubt, deny them entry or call the company they claim to represent to make sure of their identity.
“Likewise, we advise against engaging the services of doorstep cold callers offering gardening work and other maintenance work, which can be overpriced and of a poor standard.
“Anyone who suspects that bogus callers are operating in their area, or is approached at their home, should contact police immediately.”