A WOMAN has been left distraught after cruel burglars stole 12 of her puppies.

The crooks broke into the house in Brentwood Road, Orsett and took the six Springer Spaniels and six Yorkshire Terriers, which were all just six weeks old.

The 49-year-old victim has been left devastated by the theft.

Detectives probing the break-in said they believe the attack was targetted.

Investigating officer Det Con Dave Ford said: "This certainly does appear to be a targeted theft and one which has left the woman extremely upset.

"Obviously we are looking for witnesses to any suspicious activities on Brentwood Road on that Friday night or early hours of Saturday morning.

"However we are also very keen to hear from anyone who knows of such pups being sold in unusual circumstnaces as they could be the stolen ones.

"We are extremely keen to reunite them with their owner especially as they are of such a young age."

The spaniels are black and white while the terriers are tan and white.

Anyone with information about the burglary, which happened between 11pm last Friday (September 28) and 7.30pm the next day, is asked to contact detectives at Grays on 01375 391212 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.