A pensioner had £4,000 stolen from his house when he was tricked by a man who called at his door asking if he could look around his garden for his son’s frisbee.
The 72-year-old, who lives alone in Beighton, told police that he gave permission for the man to look for the toy - and stood in his garden watching him until he left.
But when he went back into his home he realised he had been burgled.
A safe containing £4,000 in £20 notes had been forced open.
A cash tin containing £70 was also emptied and a bag containing £20 in £1 coins had been taken.
The man who distracted the pensioner while his home was being searched was white, around 5ft 6ins tall, clean shaven and had a thin face.
He was wearing a dark baseball cap, a V-necked jumper in a brown-grey colour and blue jeans.
He is believed to have been aged between 22 and 30 years old.
Inspector Jason Booth, whose officers are investigating, said: “The victim is an elderly man who is 72 years old and lives alone.
“The victim answered the door to a man who asked if he could have a look around the garden as his son had lost his freebee.
“The victim agreed that this was okay, and waited outside in the garden while the man searched.
“The victim watched this man leave, following him to the gate.
“However, when he went back in to his home he realised that the house had been ransacked upstairs and down.”