Police are appealing for help to find two men who made a quick getaway after being discovered burgling a house in Loughton.
At 12pm last Friday, a female visitor to the house in Church Lane discovered the rear kitchen door open and two men who had forced their way into the property.
Once the offenders realised they had been disturbed, they ran down the stairs and out of the house, running to the rear gate and climbing over.
The first offender is a man, 5ft 10in tall, slim and wearing a black balaclava with holes for the eyes and mouth pulled fully over his head.
The second offender is a white man in his early 20s 5ft 10in tall, slim and wearing a grey hooded top with the hood pulled up.
The visitor to the house spoke to an elderly man who was sat on a street sign smoking in the vicinity of the property and asked if he had seen the men or any vehicles they might have been using.
It is currently not clear if anything has been stolen.
Anyone with information about the incident should call the Thames Valley Police 24-hour non-emergency single number 101 and ask to speak to Det Con Wendy Cissell from Milton Keynes police station.