THE heartbroken family of an 83-year-old woman who died following a terrifying burglary in her Dudley home have pleaded with anyone with information to come forward.

Crimestoppers have offered a £5,000 reward for information about a burglary which took place earlier this year at 83-year-old Betsy Malpass’s home in Kate's Hill.

Four intruders tricked their way into the pensioner’s home on Corporation Road at around 3pm on Friday 8 February by pretending to be from a water company.

During the ordeal Betsy was forced to sit on a chair while her mobile phone was put under a running tap and her entire life savings were stolen by the masked thugs.

Tragically, Betsy died a week after the robbery.

Her family said she wasn't the same person after the traumatic ordeal and began suffering panic attacks when people came to the door.

Betsy's son Derek Malpass, aged 62, and her daughter Lorraine Morris, aged 63, paid tribute to their much-missed mum as a straight-talking, honest and independent woman who they loved spending time with.

Betsy, who also had a son called Aaron, aged 44, and five grandchildren, worked at the former Hewitts factory at Burnt Tree, before retiring.

Derek said: "Someone must know something, these people are out there. You could be sitting next to them in the pub and not know."

Lorraine said the ordeal has been 'unreal' and that she is 'angry' that she can no longer spend time with her mum due to the callous actions of the burglars.

She added: "I keep getting up to call her."

Detective Sergeant Leighton Shingles from Force CID, issued the following advice to people who may be vulnerable.

He said: "Ask for ID before you open the door. If they are not able to provide ID that they are happy with, don't answer the door. If they don't provide ID phone for the police. If they feel uncomfortable or in danger at any point, phone for the police.

Appealing for information, he said: "Look at the CCTV, the vehicle that's been used we believe is a black Audi A4 or A6 S-type model. It travelled from Birmingham New Road and Highfield Road onto Corporation Road where the offence happened. So we're asking for anybody who was around Kate's Hill or the Burnt Tree area of Dudley on February 8 between three and 3.30 to think back. Did they see that Audi or the people that were inside?

"It's a very busy route, people in their cars, if they have dash cams in their cars, check the footage."

Anyone with information should contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.