BURGLARS made off with hundreds of pounds of birthday and Christmas money after stealing a teenager’s money box.

The thieves got into the house in Ashingdon Road, Rochford, by breaking through the conservatory’s french windows.

Once inside, they ransacked the house, taking two iPods and more than £300 cash.

However, the woman living at the house with her family, who asked not to be named, said she was most bothered the crooks stole her 15-year-old son’s money box, in which he’d been saving cash for his 18th birthday.

She said: “I wasn’t too bothered about the other things they took, but the main thing was my son’s money box, which he had been saving in since he was 11.

“He kept putting money in from Christmas and birthdays, so there were notes in there, and he was going to use it for his 18th birthday.

“I’ve lived here for 20 years and I’ve never had a problem. I’ve got great neighbours and the annoying thing is I’m never usually out.

“I was out at lunch after being invited out for my birthday, which was the day before. It makes me think the house may have been watched.”

She added she had not slept properly since the burglary for fear of the thieves returning.

She said: “I can’t sleep. Every noise I hear now, especially with it being windy recently, puts me on edge and even when I leave the house I get worried. For the first week, I didn’t go out of the house at all.

“It’s horrible to know someone’s been through my stuff.

Every single cupboard was out, the house was turned upside down. I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through it.”

Police have released an e-fit of a man they wish to speak to in connection with the burglary, which happened between 11am and 2.30pm, on January 29.

It was the third burglary in Ashingdon Road in three weeks.

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