A STUDENT has been left devastated after years of work towards her degree was stolen after a burglary.

Tracey Tremain, 43, returned home on Saturday, December 29 to find the the front door of her house in Fairview Drive, Westcliff, had been forced open.

Her laptop and backup memory stick with all of her work for her degree in social work had been taken along with hers and her daughter’s jewellery.

She said: “I think I disturbed them when I came in.

“The front door had been jemmied open. All my late mother’s jewellery has gone, I’m quite upset about that. They emptied the contents of mine and my daughter’s jewellery boxes into a pillowcase and took it.

Tracey is a former Shoebury PCSO. She resigned from Essex Police three-and-a-half years ago to study full-time for a degree with a view entering the child protection profession.

She added: “The laptop and memory stick are just so precious to me, I have hit so many hurdles with this degree and now this has happened on top.

“I usually take the memory stick out. I just want it back.”

A forensic examination was carried out as were house-to-house enquiries.

Investigating Officer, DC Chris Martin, said: "The laptop had a silver ‘C’ on the front. Plugged into it was a red-and-black memory stick. Both the computer and stick contain vital work, crucial to her degree. This work is a product of years of work and has left her devastated. The memory stick is of limited value to anyone else and we would appeal to the burglar’s better nature to return it as well as the laptop and jewellery.”

Anyone with information in connection with this burglary, which happened between 5pm and 6.15pm, is urged to contact detectives at Southend police station on 101.