Burglars stole about £1,000 worth of jewellery after breaking into a home in broad daylight.
Detectives are appealing for anyone who saw suspicious activity in Salcott-cum-Virley, near Tollesbury, on Tuesday.
The break-in took place in The Street, between 11.30am and 1.45pm, when thieves broke in through a door and made a messy search.
They also stole a small amount of cash before leaving the premises.
Investigating officer Dc Alison Cotter said: "This occurred on the main road that runs through Salcott and it is a dead end, so they would have to have turned round at the end.
"I would like to hear from anyone who remembers seeing people or vehicle acting suspiciously in the area."
Call Dc Cotter at Colchester CID on 101.