AN elderly couple were horrified when they woke up to find a burglar standing at the bottom of their bed.

The couple, who live in Princes Drive, Skipton, had left a kitchen window open when they went to bed.

"It was a terrifying ordeal," said Det Con Angela Moorhouse. "I cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring windows and doors are secure."

The burglar, who was dressed in black, fled with a purse and bank documents after being disturbed at 4.10am on Sunday.

He is described as 5ft 11ins tall, of medium to stocky build.

The incident is one of eight sneak-in burglaries in Skipton over the past two weeks. Each time the intruders have got in through insecure windows and doors.

Police have also issued a warning about bogus callers operating in the area.

A man purporting to be from the water board or Dyno-Rod has called at two local homes claiming there was a problem with drains. He then asked the resident to run some water in the kitchen.

Sgt Will Scarlett explained this was simply to distract the householder so that a second person could enter the house to steal.

He said people should not be afraid to challenge callers. "If you are not happy do not let them into your home," he added.

The police have released a description of one of the suspects. He is white, aged between 36 and 38, with short dark hair and was wearing a blue duffle coat.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the police witness line on 01423 539334 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.