An 80-year-old woman confronted a sneak thief - and forced him to drop the cash he was trying to take.

Hella Janes, 80, was busy frying onions when the man walked into her home at around noon on Tuesday.

She had the kitchen door closed to stop the cooking smell spreading to the rest of the house at Crag Hill Road, Thackley.

And when she heard the front door open she thought it was her husband returning from a shopping trip.

"I called him but I know he's a bit hard of hearing. I opened the kitchen door to the hallway and when the man came to the hallway I saw it wasn't my husband," she said.

"I said 'what are you doing here?' and he asked 'is Tony home?'.

"It hit me straight away what he was doing, that he was a burglar."

Confronted with the strange man in her home, Mrs Janes said she felt no fear and was determined to get back the £13 of loose change that he had picked up from the sideboard.

"I put my hand out and said: 'Give me back my money'," she said. "He refused and said it was his money. He was holding it in his right hand but he had small hands, he couldn't close his fist because there were too many coins in it.

"He tried to go out of the porch door and I held his arm and with my right hand I put my fingers into his fist and pulled his fingers back and the coins spilled out."

Despite the potential danger, Mrs Janes said: "It never entered my head to be frightened."

"I just wanted my husband's money back. It wasn't a lot, it was only £13, but I thought why should he take it?"

A police spokesman said one in four burglaries were committed by intruders walking into unlocked houses, and advised people to keep doors locked at all times.

The intruder is described as a white man, aged in his late teens to early 20s, between 5ft 4ins and 5ft 8ins tall, with a narrow face and a long chin. He had an earring in his left ear.

Anyone who saw anything in the area around Tuesday lunchtime, or who might know the identity of the intruder, should call Bradford north police on (01274) 376059.