A thief escaped with nearly £500 from a 94-year-old man after following him home from a bus and spraying him with tomato sauce.
The man got off at the same stop as his elderly victim before spraying him with the sauce and then offering to clean it up while claiming it was all an accident.
He then fled the scene shortly before the pensioner realised that £485 had disappeared from his trouser pockets and contacted police.
Inquiries to identify the man responsible are on-going and police are now appealing for help from the public to trace him.
The offender is described as white, aged in his 30s or 40s, of stocky build, a round face, wearing a grey coat and spoke with a non-local accent.
The incident happened at around 2.30pm last Wednesday, August 9, when the pensioner arrived at his home in Holly Court, in the West End of Newcastle.
He had been on the number 11 Stagecoach bus before getting off in Stamfordham Road.
Anyone who saw the men on the afternoon of the theft, or anyone who thinks they can assist the police, should contact police on 101 quoting reference 095266D/17, by
emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.