A woman in her 80s has had her life savings of £20,000 in cash stolen from her home in Essex.
She noticed it was missing after a man spent days decorating and repairing her house in Hockley, near Rayleigh.
The theft is believed to have happened in early June but was not reported to police until 27 June.
Police said the woman had no paperwork showing the man's name and address and could give only sketchy details of his description.
Investigating officer Pc Simon Phillips said: "He was white, said his name was Jack, he was aged in his 50s and he was about 5ft 8in tall.
"He had short brown hair and brown eyes. We believe he had a white van, possibly with sliding doors.
"We believe he might have been a handyman rather than a specialist tradesman.
"The man had the run of the house while he was working there because the victim trusted him.
"But he seems to have repaid that trust by taking her savings. It is an appalling crime and the woman is extremely upset."
Anyone who has information about the theft or can identify the handyman, or has been approached by the same man is asked to contact Pc Phillips at Rayleigh police station.