Teenagers have targeted vulnerable pensioners in two distraction burglaries.

A youngster called at the home of a woman in her 70s in Stanway Road, Risinghurst, at about 7pm yesterday claiming he lost his football in the back garden.

They went to the garden to search for the football but when they returned the pensioner found two more teenagers in her hallway.

They ran out the front door and drove away in a dark-coloured car.

It is not yet known if anything was stolen from the house.

Around 15 minutes later a youngster used the same line to sweet talk his way inside a house belonging to a woman in her 80s, living in St Martin’s Road, in Rose Hill.

Soon afterwards four youths were seen by a neighbour running out of the house and driving away. They stole £200.

The car is believed to be a grey BMW 1-Series, which had been modified with a large, noisy exhaust pipe and large alloy wheels.

All of the youths are thought to be in their late teens or possibly early twenties.

One was tall and slim and wearing a striped jumper.

PC Karl Ralph, of the Oxford Burglary Team, said: “These criminals have despicably taken advantage of vulnerable, elderly people in our community and exploited their trusting nature.

“The burglaries took place within 15 minutes of each other and were probably targeted with prior knowledge of the residents’ vulnerable nature.

“If anyone was in either the Risinghurst or Rose Hill areas and saw the group or their car I urge them to come forward.

“I would also like to appeal for anyone who recognises the description of this distinctive car to contact me.”

Anyone with information should contact police on 08458 505505 or speak to Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.