A hunt has been launched for burglars after they targeted the home of a Southampton pensioner who had suffered a heart attack.

Detectives are appealing for information after burglars broke into the home of an elderly woman who had just hours earlier been taken into Southampton hospital suffering from a heart attack.

A relative of the 86-year-old victim discovered the break-in when checking on the house in Jessamine Road.

It is believed it could have happened anytime in the previous 24 hours.

The burglars had ransacked the house and stolen jewellery.

It is not known at this stage if anything else has been taken in the raid, which was discovered on January 16 at about 1pm.

Detective Constable Rob Cox from Shirley CID said: “It’s bad enough to burgle anyone’s home but despicable to target the home of an elderly person who is in hospital.

“Something like this can have an effect on the victim and if they are ill it can hinder their recovery.

“We would really like to hear from anyone who has any information about this crime and who may be responsible.

"We’d urge even those who wouldn’t normally help the police to get touch if they know anything as I’m sure almost everyone will be appalled by this crime.

“It may be whoever did this may not realise the predicament of the elderly resident.

"If so I hope this pricks their conscience and at the very least they return the stolen items.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact DC Cox at Shirley CID on 101 or call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.