Theives broke into the home of a woman who is “very seriously ill” and stole a number of items including cash and medication, police said.

Hertfordshire Constabulary says it is investigating a burglary in Clitheroe Gardens, South Oxhey, that occurred anywhere between 8.45pm on  Saturday, August 8 and 7.30am on Sunday, August 9.

The force says that thieves gained access to the home of an ill woman and conducted an untidy search.

They stole a 32inch Toshiba television, cash, a jewellery box and palliative medication including pain relief, police said.

Detective Constable Nicola Simons said: “This was a truly callous offence as the victim is very seriously ill.

“I am desperately appealing for anyone who saw what happened, or anyone with information about the burglary, to get in touch. If you think you have been sold the television or jewellery, please let us know.

“I would also like to use this opportunity to urge the offender(s) to do the right thing and come forward. The victim was in the process of writing future birthday and Christmas cards for her loved ones and had intended to include the money which was stolen. This comfort has now been denied to them.

“If you can help, please call the non-emergency number 101 or email me at quoting crime reference 41/63130/20.”