DETECTIVES have appealed for information after a burglar stole jewellery of great sentimental value from an elderly woman’s home at a sheltered housing unit in Shoeburyness.
The woman, who is in her 70s, was left badly shaken after she was woken at about 3.30am on Sunday August 5 when the thief shone a torch at her face.
He escaped with a three-figure sum of cash, a purse, credit card and some items of her late husband’s jewellery.
The burglar entered the woman’s ground floor flat in the Eagle Way area by climbing through a window. He ransacked drawers and cupboards and found items before moving into the woman’s bedroom.
The woman fled to a neighbour’s flat after waking to find the man. He said nothing and escaped by jumping from a lounge window.
The man was thought to be about 5ft 8in tall and of slim build. No other details are known.
Investigating officer DC Reece Brent said: "This is a despicable and cowardly act against a vulnerable member of the community.
"The woman was absolutely distraught and in shock by this incident and was checked over by paramedics as soon as the alarm was raised.
"Items of jewellery that are of great sentimental value have been taken and also a quantity of cash which the victim cannot afford to lose.
"This man must be caught and I urge all members of the community to help us find him. If you were in the area at the time and saw anything suspicious, or if you have information about anyone trying to sell jewellery in suspicious circumstances please call us immediately."
DC Brent also advised householders to ensure that all windows are shut and locked using a key, especially ground floor windows and when a room is not being used.
Anyone who can help should contact DC Brent at Southend Target Offender Team on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.