POLICE are warning residents against buying goods from doorstep salesman after a resident was burgled while one visited his property.

Several homeowners reported having a doorstep salesman knock on their door selling a range of cleaning and other products.

In some cases residents bought items at over-inflated prices. On one occasion an elderly resident found his wallet had been stolen after leaving the salesman at the door when he went inside.

He told police how he was buying something from a man at the door when he asked for a glass of water.

When the pensioner went inside to get him the drink it is thought the salesman crept inside and took the wallet that contained a quantity of cash.

It is thought several men, who spoke with a Geordie or northern accents, were part of an organised gang who were targeting the Southampton area on Wednesday afternoon in and around the Hill Lane area.

Det Con Paul Lancaster from Southampton's Burglary Investigation team said: "We would obviously ask residents not to purchase anything from people who come to the door selling goods like this.

"Quite often they have a large bag with their products in which they sell for very inflated prices. We believe this organised gang could well have driven to Southampton to target a number of homes in one day before moving on.

"If you do have a doorstep salesman call who then asks for a glass of water or some other excuse for you to leave them at the door, do not do so.

"Shut the door and contact police. Also remember to keep anything they may have touched as we may be able to trace them through forensic evidence."

Anyone with any information about the gang who were all described as casually dressed men in their 20s can contact Det Con Lancaster on 0845 045 4545 or give information to Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.