Police are searching for three burglars who made off when a householder arrived home in Sullington Copse, Storrington, shortly after 8pm on Wednesday.
The woman and a friend walked in to find the three men searching her house. They ran off with a quantity of cash, police say.
A car was heard, but not seen, to leave at speed.
The trio are all described as stocky, wearing jogging bottoms and hoodies.
Detective Sergeant Peter Yarrow said: “If you saw suspicious activity in the area that evening or recently, especially any strange vehicles, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org quoting serial 1329 of 08/03.”
Members of the public can also report online to https://sussex.police.uk/contact-us/response-to-appeal/ or call 101.
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