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Sophie-and-Bill's-storyThere’s a good sense of community in the quiet, rural close where my husband and I have retired to. We have a good relationship with our neighbours. We look out for each other but that didn’t stop someone from breaking into our home.


We decided to go away for the night and that is when it happened. It was our neighbour who realised our home had been broken into and she let us know.


As soon as we walked in we saw broken glass all over the lounge floor where the glass in the patio doors had been smashed. Not much was disturbed downstairs, but when I went upstairs it was a different story. All the bedrooms, except one, had the drawers upturned and our things carelessly thrown everywhere. Someone had rifled through everything.


I keep a small box in our bedroom which holds my mother’s ashes, even this had been tampered with, I knew because when I looked inside the tissue paper was torn. It really upset me that someone had opened it. I was so relieved to find that my mother’s ashes were untouched inside. I don’t know what I would have done if something had happened to them.


I can’t believe this happened to us! My engagement ring was stolen and that can never be replaced. Heart breaking.


The person responsible for the burglary of this retired couple’s home was convicted and received a four year prison sentence.

Jill-and-Simon's-Story

My family and I went for a meal and see a show to spend some quality time together. We weren’t prepared for what we came home to.


Our front door had been forced open. My daughter called the police straight away to report this. I was worried because our two dogs were inside and I had no idea if they were ok or not. My son ran inside to see if anyone was still inside our home. They weren’t.


Each of us slowly made our way inside, checking each room to see what had been taken. It was mainly small items, things easy to carry, handbags, purses, laptops. I was upset when I realised that along with my own jewellery, they’d taken precious, sentimental, irreplaceable pieces that belonged to my late mother. I can’t get those back.


I decided to do something practical and phoned the banks and card companies to tell them what had happened and to cancel the cards immediately. They’d taken enough from my family. This burglary has cost us dearly not just financially but emotionally too.


The suspect for the burglary of this family’s home has been charged and is awaiting trial.

Rachel-and-Martin's-StoryMy husband, two young children and I planned a short break away in the UK.


Two days into our break, we received THAT call. Our home had been burgled. We had no choice but to abandon our trip and go straight home.


The dining room window had been broken and the brick that was used was left on the floor. There was also damage to the frame on the patio doors where someone had tried to prise their way in. In our bedroom you couldn’t see the carpet as our things were scattered all over it.


The burglary has left myself and my family really upset. It’s unnerving knowing that someone has got into your home and rummaged through your personal belongings. Our nine year daughter has been particularly upset, she’s too frightened to go into the dining room where the window was broken and she won’t sleep alone now.

Since this has happened we’ve made improvement to the security at our home to prevent this ever happening again.


The person responsible for the burglary of this young family’s home was convicted and received a 2.5 year prison sentence.

 

Roy-and-Sandra's-StoryMy wife and I have lived in our home for 40 years, raised our family, it has so many memories for us. I’m unwell and need outside carers to help me daily.

My wife had popped to the supermarket, nothing unusual about that, she came home, hung her handbag on the stairs and that was that. Except it wasn’t.

The next morning my wife couldn’t find her handbag. She went back to the supermarket to see if it had been handed in, it hadn’t. It was a mystery until a policeman called to say that they had arrested someone who had my wife’s bus pass and bank cards on him. This was strange as I couldn’t work out how someone else had my wife’s handbag. But then I remembered I awoke and thought I’d heard one of the doors being rattled late in the night. At the time I didn’t think too much of it but that must have been when that person broke into our home.

My wife and I were really shaken up by what happened. We’ve lived in our home for 40 years and nothing like this has happened before. We were so grateful that policeman called, we felt reassured that someone had been arrested and charged.

The person responsible for the burglary of this couple’s home where they’d lived for 40 years was convicted and received a four year prison sentence.

“My window cleaner cleans my windows every month and has done so for many years, but last week a man rang the bell claiming to have cleaned my windows that morning and I had never seen him before in my life.

The man told me he had been earlier that morning and cleaned the windows and was now back to collect the money. I asked where my usual window cleaner was and he said he was doing other jobs in another part of town today and that he was covering some of thisround for him.

I didn’t question him and proceeded to go and get £38 to pay for the cleaning, asking the man to stay at the door, but he followed me inside and asked if he could use the toilet. I said no, so he asked for some squash, which I agreed to and then he left.

After he left I thought the whole situation was a little strange and I went to my neighbour who had also been called on by the same man claiming to have cleaned her windows, although she had not believed him. I was then worried that the man could have taken something whilst he was in my home, but on checking my belongings this was not the case.

My neighbour has been very good and as my eyesight is not great she was able to give a good description to the police of the culprit as he had called on a few doors claiming to have cleaned windows. My neighbour is good and does look out for me a bit more if my family cannot get to visit me as often as they would like. I have shared my story with friends to warn them of these distraction burglary methods, as I would not wish someone else to experience this.”

“I like to think I am vigilant but this incident took me completely off my guard.

It was a Sunday afternoon when my doorbell rang. I wasn’t expecting anyone, but as I approached the front door, the person who rang the bell looked familiar; I thought it must be someone I knew.

I opened the door and as I did so, a woman barged straight past me in a state claiming a young man had just stolen her bag as she walked across the street and she needed to call the police. Whilst she found her way into my lounge to call the police she asked me to get her some water, but as l was getting her a glass of water she then came through to the kitchen and said the police were going to meet her outside my home. I went to let her out and then returned to take the glass of water out to her but when I looked outside again she had gone.

The incident happened so quickly it took me a few minutes to process it and I then began to think it did not seem quite right. I went into my lounge where my handbag was only to discover than the wallet where I kept my cash and credit cards was missing.

I live alone and this incident has left me feeling shocked and fearful and I will apply additional precaution when considering opening the door to unexpected visitors. It is a shame to have to be distrusting of people who call at your home. It is important though to know to ask the right questions of strangers who call at your address.”

“I left my front door unlocked as l was expecting my daughter to visit me that afternoon, but I woke up from a nap to find an unfamiliar face standing over me in my bedroom. It was a woman who claimed she was from social services and was there about cleaning. When I queried the fact that I already had a cleaner she said my usual cleaner had been taken ill and she was the replacement, in that moment I believed her story and I arranged for her to come back another day to clean.

The woman then asked for some water so I directed her to the kitchen, when she returned with water it was in the wrong glass, so I got up and went to the kitchen to put the water in the right glass. I only tumed my back on the woman for a few seconds at this point and immediately after drinking the glass of water the woman left.

When I returned to my bedroom, I noticed that one of the drawers on my bedside table had been disturbed and the little wooden box with my jewellery in was missing. I also noticed that my purse was no longer on my bedside table.

I live on my own and never thought something like this would happen to me. I have lost some pieces of jewellery with sentimental value and feel very shaken by the whole experience. I have since given my daughter her own key to my address so I don ’t have to leave the door insecure from now on.”

“I occupy a ground floor room at university and often sleep with my window open.

One night recently, in the early hours I was woken to a faint sound and slowly began to make out the image of the top half of a man leaning into my room through the window using his mobile phone screen to highlight items on my desk.

It all happened so quickly, and by the time I switched on my light, the man was out of the window with my laptop in his hand.

I also heard noises upstairs which I thought was unusual as there didn’t happen to be any rooms occupied in the flat above me. I looked out of the window to see two men climbing from a balcony to the ground below. They were walking away from me so I could not see their faces. On further inspection a couple of my housemates also had electrical items stolen.

My laptop contained all my university work as well as all my photos from my gap year travelling the world and those of family and friends. The impact of losing my laptop has been massive; all my hard work and research on my university projects has just gone in an instant and I had no back up. I reported this to the police who were very helpful and since reporting the incident, two men have been charged with this offence, but so far my laptop has not been recovered.

I am certainly more vigilant with my property now; especially my new laptop. I keep all my university work backed up regulady now on the cloud and store my laptop more securely in a locked drawer when not in use or I am away from my halls. l have also encouraged my fellow housemates to be more security conscious too. if I leave my window open it is now on the locked vent setting.”

“I had gone to bed and my husband was still watching TV in the lounge, I fell asleep and when I woke a little while later to noises, I assumed this was my husband getting ready to come up to bed. The next thing I knew was that as the bedroom door opened, the figure standing in my bedroom was not my husband. The moment I called my husband’s name the man ran out of the bedroom, through the kitchen and exited out the back door.

When I got up, I realised my bag had been taken along with my car keys, driving licence, bank cards and PIN as well as my door keys and keys to my parents home and personal items. Our iPad had also been taken, which police were able to track which thankfully led them to find the burglar near by.

Both myself and my husband are more security conscious now, obviously we changed all the looks after the incident and make sure that the front and back doors are locked when we are in the house as it is more than likely that the thief came in through the back door. We have also increased the security on our back gate and wall too by using anti climbing products and outdoor locks. I am though still worried and nervous about being on my own at night now and could not have anticipated the effect this incident would have on me.”

“I never realised that being burgled would have such an impact on my life. The police think that the burglar got in through the back door and that I may have left it unlocked as there was no sign of forced entry. I had not been disturbed through the night and the only reason I realised I had been burgled was when I opened the curtains in the morning and saw my car was not on my drive.

I went downstairs and realised that my handbag was not where I usually leave it on the hall table either. My car is my lifeline, as my mobility is not as good as it used to be and being able to drive ensures I can carry on being independent. By taking my handbag, the thieves also took my purse which contained some lovely photos of my family including ones of my grandchildren, as well as taking my credit and debit cards and my reading glasses.

The police were very good and supportive, but the amount of time involved in liaising with my insurance company, calling the bank to cancel and reissue all my cards and replacing those personal items I kept in my bag as well changing the locks was so impactive.

I will certainly be more vigilant with my home security now, as being burgled is one of those things you like to think will never happen to you.”

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