Wanganui residents are being warned to be wary of people knocking on their door offering to do work.

A man was picked up by police on Monday after knocking on doors in Springvale over the long weekend, offering to do jobs such as gutter clearing and window cleaning.

One resident feared he was trying to get into houses with a view to stealing property.

An elderly Stafford St resident said a man knocked on her door, but before she had got to the door and unlocked it he had moved on to the next house.

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"Then my phone rang, and it was a neighbour who said he had been to her house offering to clean her guttering. She had the impression he was looking to steal something and told me not to open my door.

"She told me the police had been called."

Wanganui Police Sergeant Kevin Smith said there had been reports of a middle-aged man approaching people offering similar services before.

He said it was not a normal way to do business, and people should be sceptical.

"I'd be very cautious and verify the nature of that business."

Mr Smith could not confirm how they had dealt with the man.

Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinator Jean Toki said the man had been going between houses in Stafford St offering to clean gutters and windows and she had phoned the police.

She had been previously warned the man was in the area and had passed that information to residents and called the police when he was in the area.

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"We've got to be so alert today," she said.