A CALLOUS thief duped an elderly man into buying plants which did not exist.

The victim, a man, aged 84, opened his door in Maple Crescent, Leigh, to a man who asked if he wanted to buy plants for his front yard.

The man agreed and let the man into his home, giving him £80 for the plants.

The criminal said he would get the plants from his can but never returned.

It took place on Thursday, May 15 at about 2.10pm.

PC Chris Waddicar, from Wigan police station, said: “It is sickening to think that someone is prepared to carry out such a deliberate and calculated theft on an elderly man.

“I would urge anyone with information about this person or the incident to call us as soon as possible.

“I would also urge residents not to let anyone into their home without first checking they are a legitimate caller. Always ask for identification and if you remain unsure do not let anyone in. If at any point you are fearful then ring the police immediately.”

The suspect is described as being white, in his late 50s, 5ft 6ins tall, of stocky build, with a short back and side haircut.

He spoke with a local accent and was wearing a red coat with a badge on the left hand side. He was seen walking in the direction of Bright Street.

People with information can call police on 0161 856 7963, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.