POLICE do not believe a trio of burglaries committed against elderly people in Newton-le-Willows are linked.
But a force spokeswoman confirmed that patrols had been stepped up in the area.
In the most recent incident, an 88-year-old woman was burgled at about 7.30pm on November 6.
Police say a passer-by, who was walking past the house in Pine Avenue at the time, may have seen the burglar flee - but may not have realised a crime had just been committed.
The offender, who was aged between 30 and 40, white, of medium build and clean-shaven, left in an unknown direction.
Moments earlier, he had smashed a rear kitchen window and climbed inside before searching the house.
A day earlier, a 91-year-old Newton man was tricked by two despicable conmen who knocked on the door of his Billington Avenue home pretending to be from the water board.
Prior to that, on October 5, a woman knocked on the door of an elderly couple on Legh Street, before barging into their bedroom and stealing a wallet containing cash.
Witnesses to any of these incidents can call St Helens CID on 0151 777 6843 or Crimestoppers, in confidence, on 0800 555 111.
Tips for deterring distraction burglars:
n Always check the ID of people who call at your door - check that the telephone number they provide matches the one in the Yellow Pages
n Use your door chain until you’ve seen and checked the caller’s ID
n Always ensure the back door is locked before you open the front door
n Don’t keep large amounts of cash in your home