Police are investigating after two elderly women living in neighbouring streets in Marldon, Paignton, had cash savings stolen from their homes.

An 88-year-old woman was alone at her home in Belfield Way on Sunday around 4.30pm when she discovered a man wandering in the hallway.

When challenged he asked her whether she wanted any of her windows cleaned and he left when she said no. She later found several hundred pounds missing from her purse in the bedroom.

Detective Constable Richard Griggs, from Totnes police station, said: “This was a particularly horrible crime where the offender has preyed on an elderly person. She was saving the cash from her pension for a special gift for her grandchildren and has been left terribly upset.”

“We would like to hear from anyone who saw this man in the area at the time of the offence and from any other residents who may have also been approached by him.”

The suspect is described as white, in his mid 20s to early 30s, of slim build, with bad teeth and either a gap or front tooth missing. He had strawberry blond/ginger short hair and was wearing a blue top and blue jeans.

Police are also trying to trace the owners of a maroon Nissan Qashqai and a black Suzuki car parked near to Belfield Way at the time of the offence.

A week before on Saturday 7 June, a burglar entered the home of another 88-year-old woman in nearby Belfield Close.

The offender left with an envelope containing £155 from the kitchen sometime between 11.30am and 2.30pm.

Anyone who saw anything suspicious in the area between 7 June and 15 June is asked to contact police on 101, quoting crime reference CR/082093/14.