Two men wearing face masks have been pretending to be water board officials to carry out burglaries in North and West Oxfordshire.

Four distraction burglaries have taken place between last Friday, June 2, and yesterday, June 5.

All four burglaries have involved two male offenders approaching the rear of properties and they have then told victims they are visiting on behalf of local water boards.

The police has said all of the incidents are linked to the same men due to the use of similar tactics.

Two incidents of this style of burglary have taken place in Charlbury and one took place in Fulbrook, near Burford.

The burglaries at Charlbury took place between 6.15pm and 6.35pm, while the earlier incident in Fulbrook took place at around 5.45pm.

All these offences took place on Friday and only yesterday another offence was reported in Bodicote near Banbury at around 4.30pm.

In each instance, the offenders have gone on to steal cash and jewellery once they had gained entry to the properties.

The men have been described as wearing facemasks or hats during all the offences and they were seen in a silver or grey saloon vehicle.

Detective Sergeant Steve Bates of the Priority Crime Team, based at Witney police station, said: “This is a series of incidents, which, given the tactics displayed by the offenders, are all being linked.

“I am urging people in north and west Oxfordshire to be vigilant and challenge anybody coming to your property purporting to be from any company.

“You should ask for proof of ID, as if they are genuine, they will carry some form of identification as to the company they work for and who they are, and they would have no issues in showing you this.”

If people believe anyone is suspicious, they are reminded not to let them in their house and to call 101 or 999.

Anyone with information is urged to call 101 and quote the reference number 43230241045.