Police are searching for a man accused of robbing gay men after persuading them to let him stay in their homes.

Stephen Murphy, thought to be 29 and from Manchester, is said to befriend gay men on dating websites before stealing their possessions.

He is wanted in connection with a number of incidents involving burglary, theft and fraud across the UK and police released images of him this week.

On one occasion, in October 2009, he allegedly lived with his victim in Westminster, central London, for a week before stealing £1,300 in cash and running away.

Another victim’s identity details were stolen and used to sign up to a gay networking site to meet more men, police say.

Detective Constable Andy Calley from Westminster Crime Squad said: “I am really hoping that someone will recognise Stephen Murphy from these images, which he posted on the internet dating site. It’s also important that people remember he could be living under a false identity.

“We want to hear from anyone who recognises this man or thinks they may have information which could help us to track him down. He has persistently travelled around the UK, preying on members of the gay community stealing not just their possessions but their identities which he has then exploited for his own personal gain.”

Anyone with information should call the investigation team on 0207 321 8689 or contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.