A WOMAN has been jailed for six months after stealing and attempting to steal from people in Musselburgh.

Thirty-nine-year-old Lisa Rybak was sentenced today (Friday) at Edinburgh Sheriff Court after pleading guilty last week to two charges of theft, one charge of attempted theft and to being in the grounds of a property with the intent to steal.

The incidents took place between 4.40pm and 5.30pm on August 1 and the victims were men and women, aged between 32 and 87, living in West Holmes Gardens and Manse Lane.

East Lothian’s Community Action Team attended after receiving reports from members of the public and traced Rybak, who was found to be in possession of a stolen handbag, in the area.

This was identified as having been taken from a house in West Holmes Gardens and the owner was unaware of the theft until notified by officers.

Rybak was detained and shortly afterwards was discovered to be in possession of three rings and a watch taken from another house in West Holmes Gardens.

Rybak had walked into the house claiming that she knew the resident and was asked to leave.

After Rybak left, the occupant found that some of her jewellery was gone.

She also walked into a home in Manse Lane claiming she was going to make the occupant a cup of tea and, when asked to leave, put her hand in the resident’s pocket while asking him for money.

She also attended a property in Manse Lane and asked to be let in, offering to make the occupant a cup of tea, but was refused entry and left.

Inspector Andy Harborow, of Musselburgh Police Station, said: “This was a despicable violation and very distressing for the residents involved whose homes were entered without their permission or knowledge.

"I would urge anyone who may have been a victim of such criminality to get in touch with us as we are dedicated to bringing those who target the elderly and vulnerable to justice.

“Thanks to enquiries conducted in the local area by the Community Action Team, Rybak was swiftly detained and held in custody to appear before the courts.

"I'd urge the community to remain vigilant in ensuring that their properties are kept secure at all times and to always call 101 if you see any suspicious behaviour, dialling 999 if a crime is ongoing."