MASKED raiders wielding hammers stole jewellery and a phone in one of two aggravated burglaries.

Essex Police are appealing for information following the burglaries at homes in Braintree and Witham.

Both took place on the evening of Friday, November 10.

Three men wearing masks and armed with hammers broke into an address in the Clarks Wood Drive area of Braintree at around 7.30pm, taking jewellery and a phone.

The second incident took place a short time later, at around 8pm, at an address in Howbridge Road, Witham.

Three men forced their way into the house armed with screwdrivers and stole a handbag and jewellery.

Detective Inspector Kev Hughes said: “These were both frightening incidents for those involved.

“We are investigating whether they are linked due to how they were carried out, the time frame in which they took place, and the distance between two the properties.

“I need anyone who may has seen what happened or has any information about either incident to contact Braintree CID.

“No-one should face this kind of incident, let alone in their own home, and it is really important we find those responsible.”

Anyone with information should contact Braintree CID on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.