Football fans could hold the key to catching a callous thief who stole £10,000 from two Sunderland pensioners.
The thief targeted the St Columba Court retirement complex, in Southwick, and police want to trace two Black Cats fans who chased him.
The burglaries happened between 3pm and 5pm on Saturday, and more than £10,000 in cash was stolen, before the intruder fled after being disturbed by one of the residents returning home.
The victims are two women, aged in their 70s, who live in two different properties in the court.
Detective Sergeant Steve Wallace, of the Southern Burglary Team, said: “This offender targeted the homes of two vulnerable women because they were elderly and lived alone.
“A substantial amount of money was stolen during these burglaries and although the victims were not hurt, they have been left extremely distressed by what has happened.
“Around the time the offender fled the property, a number of people would have been in the area, with the football match at the Stadium of Light finishing around the same time.
“Two fans who had been at the game actually chased the offender as he fled the scene, but we have not been able to trace or speak to them. We would urge them to come forward and contact police.”
The thief was white, in his 20s, between 5ft 9in and 5ft 11in, of slim build and with short, dark hair. He was wearing a dark coat without a collar, black trousers and gloves.
Witnesses should contact police on 101 extension 69191 quoting reference number 905 15/08/15.