Hawke's Bay police are hunting a man after a brazen home invasion where an offender gained entry by posing as a government official.
At about 8am yesterday, a woman opened the door of her Auckland Rd, Taradale, to a man who convinced her he was from New Zealand Immigration.
"The woman allowed this man into her home, believing he was there as an agency employee," Detective Sergeant Darren Pritchard said.
"He then demanded money from the victim before a minor assault took place."
The officer said the offender fled with clothing and a phone belonging to the woman.
"Although she was badly shaken, she had no physical injuries."
The woman, who was home alone at the time and believed to be in her mid-60s, was rocked by the early morning attack.
"It caught her completely offguard. She's distraught, which is understandable given such a horrible experience.
"It's a timely reminder to the public that they shouldn't let people in their homes and should ask for identification before allowing them into your home."
Police are appealing to the public for help.
"There were a number of items stolen that people may notice. In particular, a cordless phone was stolen without its base unit. Obviously that [phone] won't work so people may pick up on that."
An Auckland Rd resident contacted by Hawke's Bay Today said the news was "troubling".
"It's a nice neighbourhood and usually there's very few problems."
The resident, who did not wish to be identified, said the neighbours would support each other.
"We'll band together and keep an eye out, that's all you can do, really."
The offender is described as Maori, of solid build, in his mid-20s and wearing dark-coloured clothing.
Pritchard asked Taradale residents to check their properties.
"Residents in the Auckland Rd and Mission Rd areas can help by scouring their properties for any items the offender may have discarded.
"If anything unexpected is found, residents should contact Napier police station and report it, so police can take a look.
"If you're ever unsure of a visitor, do not invite them in and instead arrange a meeting time outside of your home, in a public place."
• Napier Central Police Station can be reached on 831 0700 or phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.
For more articles from this region, go to Hawkes Bay Today