POLICE are warning people to be on their guard after a woman’s necklace was stolen in Redditch.

The victim was approached by another woman who offered to sell her a necklace and ring for £50.

The victim eventually agreed to buy the jewellery for £3 and the offender placed the necklace around her neck, at the same time managing to undo and steal the victim’s own necklace, a 9 carat gold chain and locket, worth £100.

It happened outside the NatWest Bank in Church Green East at about 11.30am on Sunday, February 6.

The victim, who is in her 60s, was extremely shocked when she realised what had happened a short time later.

PC Graham Douglas of West Mercia Police said such offenders target elderly people and often use aggressive selling techniques to persuade people to buy jewellery which may look like gold but is usually rubbish.

In some cases the offenders not only dupe the victims into paying money for jewellery which turns out to be worthless tat and steal their own jewellery, but may be noting where the victims keep their purses and how much cash they have.

PC Douglas said: “If anyone is approached, our advice is to simply walk away as anything which people are trying to sell in the street is likely to be of dubious quality.

“If people want to buy jewellery, they should go to a reputable jeweller or department store, where the goods are of a decent quality and guarantees are provided.”

The offender is described as an Asian woman, 5ft 8ins tall, aged 30 to 35, and wearing a long skirt and dark clothing, possibly brown or black in colour.

Witnesses or anyone with information are asked to contact PC Douglas on 0300 333 3000 quoting incident 129-n-060211 or ring Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.