Police are hunting two men who posed as gardeners to trick their way into a woman's home to steal thousands of pounds.
The burglars offered to cut the 62-year-old's hedge at her home in Longfield Road, Chelmsford, but stole the cash from inside her house.
Officers search the area after it was reported at about 10am on Friday.
Investigating Officer, Dc Anna Davison, said: "We’re really keen to trace a white flatbed van which had green writing on it and then hopefully we can identify these two men and arrest them for the wicked crime they have committed.
"They targeted a fraile lady who has now been left completely devastated by their actions.
"She is being supported by ourselves and her family, but this has hit her hard.
"We’ve completed our house-to-house enquiries, but most people were out during the day so we’re expanding our enquiry to incorporate the entire Great Baddow area and are asking people to contact us should they have seen this vehicle or the two men.”
The two thieves are described as white and spoke with London accents.
One man is aged about 50, is 5ft 4ins tall, has a large stomach, is bald and was wearing a black top, dark trousers and yellow braces with lettering on it. The second man is aged in his 30s, about 5ft 9ins tall, of medium build, has straight dark-brown hair, was clean-shaven and wore black clothing.
Anyone with information is asked to call Chelmsford Police Station on 0300 3334444.