A WOMAN woke up in the early hours to see a burglar in front of her.

Police officers are now appealing for the public’s help following the burglary in Gillingham, where a handbag containing a purse was stolen.

The burglary took place at around 5am on Sunday, April 25, when an elderly woman was asleep in her home off Abbott’s Way and a noise woke her up.

She opened her eyes to see the burglar in front of her. The victim screamed and the man left the address.

The victim’s handbag containing her purse was stolen during the burglary, but it was later found discarded along Rolls Bridge Way.

The purse remains missing.

It is believed the front door had been left unlocked. 

The suspect is described as white, either of a tanned or grubby complexion, with short hair and aged in his late teens or early 20s.

Describing what happened as an "extremely frightening incident", Police Constable Matt Weldon, of Dorset police, said: “I am appealing to anyone who was in the area at the relevant time and either saw someone acting suspiciously, or a man matching the description given, to please contact Dorset Police."

PC Weldon added: "I would like to remind everyone to ensure they have their doors and windows locked, especially overnight or when in the garden. 

“Finally, I would ask any motorists who were travelling in the area of Abbott’s Way or Rolls Bridge Way and may have captured anything of relevance on dashcam to please get in touch.” 

Anyone with further information can contact Dorset Police by calling 101, quoting occurrence number 55210064647.