A bogus caller, claiming to be from the water board knocked on the door of a house in Gordon Terrace, in Ryhope at around 2.20pm on Tuesday 10 July.
The homeowner then let him into the house.
Once inside he distracted the occupant while two other men sneaked into house. They searched the property and stole an amount of cash.
The man who claimed to be from the “water board” is described as being white, between 40 and 50 years old and around 5ft 6ins tall.
He has dark thinning hair and was wearing a blue shirt and spoke with a regional accent.
Inquiries are on-going into the incident and extra officers are in the area speaking to residents and checking local CCTV.
Superintendent Jim Napier from Sunderland Area Command said: "We want to reassure people that we are making every effort to tackle this type of crime. Officers have been carrying out enquiries in the area and our investigations are continuing.
"The local Neighbourhood Policing Team have been carrying out patrols in this area, they are speaking to residents to try to identify witnesses, give reassurance and deal with any concerns raised by local people.
"On an ongoing basis officers are also working with the local authority and communities to identify any vulnerable people and, where appropriate will provide support and give crime prevention advice to prevent them becoming victims of this type of crime."
Northumbria Police is currently reminding people not to be taken in by bogus callers as part of a doorstep crime campaign called “If in doubt - keep them out!”
Police operations are being carried out in every area of Northumbria Police to tackle doorstep crime.
Anyone with any information into the incident is asked to contact police on 101 ext 69191.
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