A search helicopter and sniffer dog units were scrambled when a burglar was caught in the act at a woman’s home on Wednesday.
The Ripley woman, of Butterley Row, was gardening when she heard noises from inside the house around 4pm.
On entering the kitchen she saw a man - who had sneaked into the house through an open patio door - holding her laptop and handbag.
Police say the woman shouted at the man to leave. He fled, dropping the laptop, but making off with the handbag.
She called police who scrambled the force helicopter in a bid to catch the male, described as white with dark hair and wearing three quarter length trousers. However the thief escaped.
Police are now asking for any witnesses to the incident on Wednesday, July 25, to call the force non-emergency number on 101. It has also warned people to keep doors and windows shut during the warm weather after a spate of opportunistic burglaries in recent days.
A burglar also sneaked into a house in Peveril Court, Ripley, between 11pm on Sunday, July 22 and 6am the following morning while the homeowner was asleep. They went in through the unlocked front door and took cash.