A conman stole 91-year-old Grace Parrett’s purse after asking to enter her house to look for a lost kitten.
The thief claimed he lived nearby and needed to search her garden after the pensioner returned from a shopping trip to her home in Locksway Road, Milton, Portsmouth.
But on his way out, the conman picked up Mrs Parrett’s purse – escaping with a £20 note and loose change.
Southsea detectives were investigating an almost identical scam in which an 86-year-old woman lost £732 in silverware and cash.
On the same day a man claiming to have lost a kitten stole two vases from a woman of 92 after calling at her home in Eastleigh.
Mrs Parrett, pictured, said: ‘I came in from shopping and put goods on the table with my purse.
‘I hadn’t got my coat off before the doorbell went. The young man wanted to look in the garden to see if his kitten was there.
‘He seemed all right and said he lived round the corner in Cromarty Avenue.
‘I took him through the garden, but he must have taken my purse then.’
Mrs Parrett did not notice her purse was missing until about three to four hours later when she wanted to go out again.
She went to the address she had been given in Cromarty Avenue, but the residents there had not heard of the man.