A TERRIFIED woman in her seventies was woken by a burglar shining a torch in her face before he ransacked her bedroom in front of her.

The woman watched as the burglar spent ten minutes turning her bedroom upside down in Rayleigh Avenue, Eastwood, at about 4.10am yesterday.

He had already searched downstairs and went upstairs to ask her where she kept her money, eventually fleeing with jewellery and £40 from the woman’s purse.

Only two hours earlier, an elderly couple in their eighties disturbed burglars searching their living room in Rayleigh Road, Thundersley. Although they stole nothing more than a bottle of water, there was minor damage to the door.

The 81-year-old woman, who did not want to be named, said: “It’s frightening to think we can’t go to bed – we’re OK, but it’s the shock we’re dealing with. The next few days when we go to bed we’re going to be worried if there’s anyone about, if they’re coming back, because they’ve been in and know what we’ve got.

“The police told us about the woman who had the torch shone in her face and we feel terrible for her. But the same thing could have happened to us. For all we know, it could have been the same people.”

She added she had been woken by a noise downstairs and went to investigate, thinking it may have been the couple’s dog. However, by the time she got to the landing, she could see a torch shining around the living room and noticed two men. When she screamed, they fled.

Det Con Karen Miller, who is investigating both burglaries, said residents had to ensure their doors were locked at night.

She said: “In both cases, the doors had double-locking systems that had not been set.

The double-locking activates bolts that go into the door frame and make it more difficult to break open doors. We would urge everyone with this sort of door lock to make sure double-locking is set at night and every time they go out.”

Anyone with information about the burglaries can call Det Con Miller at Southend CID on 101, or Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.