A pensioner conned out of £600 for repairs to his garden fence has prompted a police warning to be vigilant of bogus tradesmen.
Officers were called to the home of a 76-year-old man after he paid cash upfront for materials and work to be done to his garden fence which failed to be carried out.
The worker, who he didn't know, has not been contactable since.
The resident had been put in contact with the man via another tradesman, a man who had previously carried out roofing work in the Hetton-le-Hole area.
Police have also been unable to contact the tradesman also.
The theft happened in Hetton-le-Hole between Monday February 15 and Monday February 29.
Pc Ken Walton said: "We want to remind people to be vigilant. Always get quotes from a number of companies before agreeing to work being done, and check identities of workmen and the company's credentials.
"Never agree to work being done by people who cold call at your home.
"People should also look out for elderly relatives and neighbours and report any suspicious people or vehicles they see in their community to police. If in doubt contact officers.
"Anyone with information about either tradesman believed to be operating in this area is asked to contact police quoting reference 519 290216."
Anyone with information about this is asked to contact police on 101, to report a crime ongoing dial 999. If you do not want to speak directly to the police you can contact charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. No personal details are taken, information is not traced or recorded and you will not go to court.
More crime prevention advice can be found at the force website at http://www.northumbria.police.uk/crimeprevention