A couple have been left devastated by the theft of several thousand pounds' worth of gold jewellery from their home in Witham.

The burglary happened when two men forced their way through a door of a house on Walnut Drive near its junction with Homefield Road during the early evening of June 10.

When inside, they ransacked the upstairs bedrooms and stole several gold heirlooms.

Investigating Officer, Dc Nick Campbell, said: "This couple are completely distraught at their loss and the invasion of their privacy. The jewellery that was stolen and those that are pictured were family heirlooms which had been handed down the generations of the families and they were looking forward to doing the same to their children later in life.

"We're aware that two men were seen outside the house on that Tuesday evening. We believe they drove off in a dark hatchbacked van. We ask people to take look at the men's descriptions, the clothing that they wore and recall whether they saw them in the area last week."

The men are described as white, but tanned and aged in their 30s. One man has dark-brown curly hair which was gelled back with a wave in it and is fat. He was wearing a black T-shirt which had white writing on the shoulders and the back.

The second man was wearing dark shorts, a short-sleeved yellow high-visibility jacket and large sunglasses. He has his dark hair gelled and spikey at the front.

Dc Campbell added: "These jewellery items may be offered for sale to people in the coming days in unusual circumstances so we ask jewellers and the general public alike to be alert and contact us."

A forensic examination of the house was carried out, with house-to-house enquiries also completed.

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