Police are warning the elderly to be on their guard against bogus officials following a burglary in Birkenhead which saw a pensioner trapped in her kitchen while her home was ransacked.

Investigating officers described the incident as "appalling."

On Tuesday, a man had called at an elderly woman’s home in Bidston Road saying there had been a burst water main and the area needed to be isolated.

The pensioner let the conman into her kitchen and he shut the door, preventing her from leaving, and allowing an accomplice to ransack her property.

The pair made off with cash.

Detective Constable John Head said: ”This is an appalling crime when vulnerable members of our community are being targeted.

"Although not hurt, the lady was left very shaken and upset.

"The man who entered her home is very distinctive and I’d appeal to anyone who may know who he is or know anything to call the police.

"I would like to take this opportunity to ask people to be on their guard against these types of offenders and to never open your door to anyone you do not know.

"It is important to check the identity of any stranger who calls. Genuine callers will not mind waiting."

One of the suspects being hunted had a shaved head and a heavily scarred face.

He was aged around 30, of slim build and about 5ft 8ins tall, wearing a denim jacket and trousers.

A full investigation is underway and police are urging anyone with information to call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.