DETECTIVES are appealing for information after burglars caused more than £500 of damage in a bungled raid.

The break-in happened in Shoebury when thieves entered through the front door of a house on Cunningham Close off Eagle Way between 2-5pm on Saturday. They attempted to steal a flatscreen television but dropped it on a glass coffee table, smashing both.

Investigating Officer, Dc Layla Barker, said: "We can only assume this was a bungled burglary, but also not sure if this specific damage was caused deliberately which is why we’re appealing for witnesses to the actual entry of the property as well information on the identity of those who were inside.”

All homeowners with uPVC doors are reminded to lock them by turning the handle up and using the key, even when indoors. A number of burglars are simply pulling down on the outside door handle to disengage the security mechanism before releasing the door open using a screwdriver or other similar implement.

Dc Barker added: "Burglars are at it all times of the day and night, targeting neighbourhoods, walking through streets, trying doors, entering unlocked ones and filling their bags. It’s so simple for them. It’s painful for us to have to tell victims the awful truth.

"It’s a nightmare for them as they have to cancel bank cards, replace locks and reflect on the invasion of their home. We need them to physically lock front uPVC doors using the keys to activate the deadlock. By doing so, the door cannot be opened from the outside. The key must then be removed and kept in a safe place for just family members to access.”

A forensic examination of the scene was carried out as were house-to-house enquiries.

Anyone with information in connection with this burglary is urged to contact detectives at Southend police station on 101 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.