Burglars stole thousands of pounds worth of jewellery from a couple in Sutton.

Unknown callers gained entry to a house on Stonecot Close on Tuesday, January 17, between 2.15pm and 2.30pm.

A man insisted the residents, who were both in their 70s, go into the back garden so he could explain the impact on their property of planned building work.

The couple told the man they had been notified formally about the development on a property in Stonecot Hill, which backs onto their garden.

He kept the couple talking for about 10 to 15 minutes, explaining that their fence would need to be replaced and their shed moved - work he was happy to undertake for just £125.

When a loud bang was heard at the front of the house, he made a swift exit, hitting his head on the clothes line as he left.

About an hour later the couple found their upstairs bedroom had been searched and jewellery believed to be worth £20,000 stolen.

Police suspect the front door was left open while the man was talking to the couple in the back garden.

Police are advising residents not to allow any unexpected or unknown callers into their home.

Detective Inspector Jim Bennett, of Sutton CID, said residents should be aware that tricksters can sound very plausible and even use information about proposed planning developments on nearby properties as an excuse to gain entry.

The suspects may have seen council notices in the press or on a planning notice posted on a lamp-post near the property, he said. “If in doubt, keep them out, and if you are suspicious call police immediately on 999.”

Police undertook house-to-house enquiries and a forensic examination at the property.

If you saw anyone acting suspiciously at this time or have any information that could help, contact Sutton police station on 101.

Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.