BURGLARS raided a self-storage business near Colsterworth on Saturday night, stealing items from around 40 shipping containers.
The thieves made a hole in a fence at the ‘U Hold the Key’ storage yard on the A1 northbound and used bolt cutters to snap padlocks.
Inside the containers, they made meticulous searches for valuables like jewellery and electrical items.
Martin Strange was among the people who had valuables taken, including Apple laptops, a gemstone he was given as a child and his passport.
He said: “It’s the equivalent of breaking into 40 houses. I can’t think what’s gone. They went for things that were small and expensive.
“I’m sure I’ve lost a few grand, but it will be little things that I haven’t even thought of.”
Lee and Maureen Clarke from Sleaford had lost computers, a home cinema system, wedding rings and other jewellery and bottles of spirits.
Maureen said: “It’s a nightmare really.
“We can’t tidy up in this frame of mind - it’s too upsetting.”
Among the items lost by Mike Jackson was the engagement ring that had belonged to his mother, who recently passed away.
He said: “You hear about it so often, but nothing prepares you for the shock of the personal things you go through.”
U hold the Key owner Ian Parsons told the Journal it is the first time the company had suffered such a breach of security.
He said: “We’ve been doing storage for 10 years and this is the worst incident by a long way.
“The difference in this one is that somebody has planned it in quite a lot of detail.”
A police investigation into the thefts is ongoing and forensic examination is being carried out on cutting equipment found near the scene.
l Information to Lincolnshire Police on 0300 111 0300.