A BURGLAR posed as a fire officer and ushered a pensioner out of her Camberley home after disturbing her.
He told the frightened woman, who was in bed, that her house was on fire and that she needed to get dressed and leave quickly.
She did as she was told, only for the villain to disappear with her handbag while she was putting on her clothes.
Police believe the burglar has carried out similar raids on the homes of other pensioners in the area, usually between 10pm and 8am.
In some cases he has claimed to be a police officer after disturbing his victims.
Because he strikes during the early hours, police have only a sketchy description of the intruder.
"He is white and in his 20s," said a spokeswoman. "He is very bold, although on one occasion he ran off after a pensioner shouted at him."
Anyone with information which would help police catch the thief should ring DC Maxine Cilia on 01932 845544, or Surrey Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.