Police are investigating reports a woman was assaulted in Wickford.
The 24-year-old had left the BP garage in Cranfield Park Road at about 3.50am on Friday December 23 and was walking home when she was approached from behind by an unknown suspect.
She was hit to the side of the head, causing her to fall to the ground.
When she got home and contacted police shortly before 5.20am, she realised her beige Next handbag, containing an iPhone 4 and some money, was missing.
The victim, who was wearing a red dress and a dark jacket with a fur hood, took a route along a pathway parallel to the river along Nevendon Road.