Photo/Illutration The headquarters of the Aichi prefectural police in Nagoya (Asahi Shimbun file photo)

NAGOYA--A man posing as a police officer made off with about 10 million yen ($71,400) in cash and 1.5 kilograms in gold bullion worth 12 million yen or so after conning an elderly woman in Chiryu, Aichi Prefecture, to open the house safe.

According to local police, a company employee in his 50s received a call while he was at home around noon Sept. 3 from a woman who identified herself as a police officer.

“The circulation of false bank notes is now becoming a big social issue,” the caller said. “Would you please allow us to come over and check whether forged notes ended up in your safe?”

Later, a male visitor turned up at the home. But since the employee was out, his mother, who is in her 80s, let him in and led him to the safe, which she opened.

The imposter ran off with the cash and part of the gold stored in the safe as soon as the woman took her eyes off him.

The employee alerted the police immediately after he received a call about the incident from his mother.

Police are investigating the theft, suspecting that the visitor, in collaboration with others, conspired to steal the money after learning the family was wealthy.