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A renewed appeal for information has been made exactly one year after a brazen burglar raided a 79-year-old woman’s cottage while she slept inside.

Money and a sentimental gift from her late husband were stolen from the woman in Ongar High Street shortly before 5pm on December 3 last year.

The burglar grabbed a handbag from the cottage’s kitchen while the elderly owner slept in an adjacent room.

The stolen handbag was found in nearby Castle Street but a purse, cash and a gold Parker pen were missing.

Although of little financial value, the pen was given to the woman by her husband 40 years ago and was of great sentimental value.

The whole incident was caught on CCTV, which has now been publicised again in an attempt to catch the criminal.

A 58-year-old man from Epping was arrested by Essex Police the week after the burglary but was then released and eliminated from the enquiry.

The burglar, believed to be between 40 and 60, was wearing a beanie hat, a North Face jacket, trousers and gloves, all of which were black or dark-coloured.

Anyone who can identify the man should contact detectives at Loughton CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.