DISTRACTION thieves stole the life savings of a great-grandmother after tricking their way into her home.

Eileen Bartlett, aged 87, lost £6,000, jewellery, including earrings she planned to wear at her grandson's wedding, and sentimental items when a man distracted her while his accomplice raided her home.

Mrs Bartlett, known to family and friends as Win, has been left shaken up and frightened by the burglary.

Now a fundraising page has been set up by her loved ones to help recoup the money - and kind well wishers have already raised nearly £900.

The burglary happened after a "well-dressed" man with ID, claiming to be from the local council, asked to see the 87-year-old’s gas tap for inspection.

During a five-minute conversation with the man in the kitchen of her St John's home, another man remained in the living room and stole her jewellery, sentimental items and thousands of pounds in cash.

The stolen items include a pair of new pearl earrings that Eileen was planning to wear to her grandson's wedding next spring.

Mrs Bartlett was so shaken up by the burglary she has been staying at her daughter’s house.

Her grandson, Sean Hughes, from Worcester, said: “She is anxious about going back to hers, which is to be expected.

“She is more annoyed than anything else that she let this happen. But you just would not think.

“If someone comes over and says they are checking the gas tap you don’t question it.

“You hear about these things happening, but never expect it to happen to your own family.

“Currently, she is with family and is working through the trauma of the burglary.

“She is adored and well-loved by her family, friends and neighbours.

“Eileen has lived in Worcester all her life.”

Mr Hughes, aged 28, added: “I have created a GoFundMe page in an attempt to recoup some of her losses.

“There is no way to replace the sentimental items or the large amount of money stolen, but my brother, Lee, and I are trying to recoup as much of her losses as we can, so that she can continue to live her life worry-free.

“Eileen is unaware we are fundraising for her, but we know the support and love she receives, when we surprise her, will cheer her up no end, and she will be so grateful for any amount she receives."

To donate towards supporting Eileen, visit www.gofundme.com/f/support-our-grandmother-after-a-burglary?

The GoFundMe page was created on Saturday, June 27 and already £887 has been raised.

The family hopes to boost this amount and have set a goal to raise £5,000.

The theft took place on Monday, June 22.

West Mercia Police has appealed for witnesses or information to come forward.

A police spokesman said: "Between 6.45pm and 7pm it is reported that the lady has opened the door to two men, who have said they worked for the gas works and needed to enter her home to perform checks within the property on Sharpe Road, Worcester.

"The first man asked the lady to accompany him to her kitchen, whilst the second man remained in the living room.

"The first man is described as white, between 30 – 40 years of age. He had short dark hair, was clean shaven and was smartly dressed. He had a local Worcester accent and was wearing a blue lanyard around his neck.

"We don’t have a description of the second man.

"The victim was not injured, but is shaken by the experience."

Investigating Officer, DC John Kerr said: “This has understandably been a traumatic experience for the victim. We are appealing for any information relating to the incident on Monday, June22.

"If anyone witnessed any suspicious people or behaviour in Sharpe Road, Worcester or the surrounding area please contact us. No matter how small you think the piece of information you have is please call us or report it on our website.

"We have increased our safer neighbourhood officer patrols of the area and have officers in regular contact supporting the victim as we continue to investigate.

"If you are unsure about a visitor to your door, ask their name, who they work for and if they have a contact number you can call to check. Ask them to return later while you make these checks.”

Anyone with information is asked to call 101 quoting incident number 22/ 51474/20.