CALLOUS thieves stole a young puppy from a family home, leaving the owners distraught.

Tilly, a six-month-old black and tan Chihuahua was taken during the burglary in Pitsea.

The break-in happened at a house in Corfe Close between 12.15am and 2am on Wednesday, August 29.

Jamie Box, 26, who lives with his parents said his mum, Paula Box, was asleep upstairs while the crooks forced their way into the home.

They also took wallets and used a bank card nearby.

He said: “We are pretty certain it happened between 12.15am and 2am as we believe one my parents' cards was used in Pitsea at about 2.05am.

“They got in through the backdoor and smashed a window, we think they used something to open the door.

“My stepfather came in at about midnight and went out between 2am and 3am.

“I was out at my girlfriends in Laindon and got a call from my mum at 4am, she was crying and told me the dog had gone.

“For me, I am able to accept that if we do not get her back in a few days we won’t get her back.

“I know how the world works and that you can’t have anything these days.”

He said as hard as this is to accept he can do that, he said he would have preferred that his new car was taken rather than the dog.

Mr Box said it has left a lasting affect on his mum.

He said: “My mum is just emotionally drained and exhausted.

“She has had trouble sleeping since our dog was taken.

“She has talked about wanting to move house. You hear about the effect on people of a burglary but now we know first hand.

“My mum just keeps looking at Tilly’s toys and her bed and crying.”

He said in an ideal world they hope to get their puppy back very soon and there have been reports of sightings but no luck finding her yet.

Police are now appealing for help from the public.

Anyone with any information should call police on 101 quoting the crime reference number 42/124972/18.