A Banstead woman has had her 75-year-old engagement ring from her late husband stolen by a man claiming to be a builder.

On April 23 at about 2.30pm, the 96-year-old woman living in De Burgh Gardens had a knock at their front door from a man claiming to be a builder from a neighbouring property.

The man told her that he needed to turn off the water supply as the ‘water supplies are connected’.

She therefore allowed him into their home and showed him where the water stopcock was.

She stayed with the man throughout the whole duration and walked with him to the front door when he left.

However a short time later she noticed her purse was missing from the side and all of her jewellery, cash, other items and worst of all, the 75-year-old engagement ring from her late husband at the age of 21, had been stolen from upstairs.

A spokesman from Surrey Police said: "Enquiries are ongoing but we suspect it was a chancer who saw there was building work next door and used this as a means to gain entry whilst an accomplice entered when the occupant was distracted.

"He either put something in the latch or he quickly opened the door as they were shown to the stopcock.

"The male is described as white, ginger hair and spoke with an Irish accent. There are no known details for the accomplice.

"If you are offered any jewellery such as two half hoop engagement rings and two two silver lockets please consider where they came from and also contact us.

"If you have any information about this heinous crime then please contact us or CrimeStoppers on ref 45190042177."