A woman was tied up at her home by a burglar who asked for some water then fled, leaving her there for two days.
The woman was in her garden in Frittenden, Kent, on Easter Sunday when the man showed up, claiming he had been cycling and asking for a drink of water.
But after the woman, who is in her 60s, handed him a bottle of water he jumped over the fence and forced her inside her home.
The man, believed to be in his 20s or 30s, assaulted her and took money and valuables then tied her up before leaving.
The woman was found by police two days later on Tuesday evening, after concerns were raised by people who had tried to contact her.
Officers found her still restrained inside the property. She was taken to hospital, where she is now recovering.
An investigation has been launched by the Kent and Essex Serious Crime Directorate.
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The suspect is described as white, in his 20s to 30s, around 5 ft 10 in and of slim build. He was described as having a local accent and wearing black trainers, a black hooded top and black gloves with white markings on them.
Detective Chief Inspector Neil Kimber said: "The victim has endured a harrowing and traumatic ordeal and we are appealing to members of the public to help us find the person responsible."
He added: "If you saw anyone acting suspiciously please don’t hesitate to contact us. It is possible this man may have passed by other properties in the area and therefore we are also urging residents to check any CCTV or doorbell cameras for anything suspicious.
"If you were driving through this area you may also have important footage on dashcams. Please do check if you have these devices in your vehicle, as they could contain evidence vital to the investigation."
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