Police are trying to trace a group of charity collectors who may have seen burglars just before they broke into two houses in the same street.
They were chased away by a woman inside one of the homes – but not before they grabbed her purse.
Police say the theft in Upper Highway, Abbots Langley, happened at 5.10pm on Monday after burglars forced open a front door and began searching the house.
A second burglary that happened on the same day and in the same street was later reported – and police say this happened between 7am and 7pm.
Cash was taken from the house after the burglars forced their way into the house through a side door.
Det Sgt Alex Tyrrell from Operation Manhunt said: “We believe there were some people collecting for charity in the area prior to the offences taking place.
“We’d really like to identify who they were as they may have been witness to the burglaries or saw suspicious activity.
“If this was you, please get in touch. I’d also like to trace witnesses to these incidents. If you were in the area and believe you witnessed anything, please contact police.”
Anyone who has information on the crimes is asked to contact Operation Manhunt by phoning police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.