RESIDENTS are being asked to stay alert after five distraction burglaries in 12 days in the Ferndown and West Moors area.

Residents in Verwood have also reported strange doorstep callers after the incidents, in which a man has asked the home owner if they would like gardening work undertaken or told them that he is working on their neighbour's property.

Some of the victims have then been asked to go and unlock their rear door/gate and during this time the man, who has been left at the front door, has entered the property and stolen items.

Other victims have declined the man's services but later have had items taken from their property with access by either open windows or doors.

The thief has taken handbags, jewellery, credit/debit cards and cash.

The man is described as white, in his 20s, slim/athletic build, brown hair, although there may be more than one person involved.

Anyone with more information on the man can contact Dorset Police on 101.