A family is warning residents to be vigilant after a husband disturbed burglars rifling through bedrooms in their house before escaping with jewellery and other expensive items.
Nigel Bell returned home to his house in Kingscliffe Road, on Grantham’s Manthorpe estate, at about 5.30pm on Monday, and was horrified to find two men upstairs. He had only been away from the house a few hours.
Mr Bell, 62, who lives with his wife, Linda, and her daughter, Hannah, said he believed the men had climbed on to a flat roof and broken in through a window at the back of the house.
They had smashed security lights before entering in a bid to get in without being seen.
Mr Bell said: “I unlocked the door and then I heard what I thought was the radio. I heard a conversation going on and I heard movement upstairs.
“I put the light switch on in the hall and then I saw a man come out of Hannah’s bedroom and shoot into another room. There was another man in my bedroom.”
He added: “I thought ‘should I tackle them?’, but then thought better of it. I went and locked the back door.”
Mr Bell said the burglars had been downstairs because there were muddy footprints in the lounge. It seems that they tried to gain entry through a side door as the lock had been tampered with. The family dog was in the kitchen at the time; the burglars avoided going in there.
Mr Bell said: “We feel we have been violated. It really shook me up when I first saw them.”
The two men were speaking a foreign language, were young and were possibly Eastern European or Middle Eastern, said Mr Bell.
Linda, who is events manager for the Journal and sister titles, said: “They have been through the wardrobes, the drawers, every piece of paperwork imaginable, photos, pictures...they have just ripped the whole upstairs apart.
“Hannah and I are doing the clearing up - I can’t believe there are such scum out there. It’s not even that they’ve taken much in value - a few watches, bits of jewellery and my Surface tablet.
“The chaos they have caused for such little return. They’ve been through my memory box, my wedding box, some letters from an old boss of mine who wrote to me before she died of cancer. That’s what hurts.”
A spokesman for Lincolnshire Police said: “On January 25, at around 5.40pm, a householder on Kingscliffe Road reported returning home and disturbing two offenders who ran from the property. It is believed they gained access via a rear window. We would like to hear from anyone who may have seen or heard anything suspicious in the area at the time, or anyone who may have any information that may assist the enquiry. Please contact us on the non-emergency number 101 quoting incident number 306 of January 25, 2016. Alternatively contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”
Police are also investigating a burglary at a property in Rowanwood Drive in Gonerby Hill Foot which was targeted on the same day. It is believed the burglary took place between 3pm and 5pm. Offenders gained entry by forcing a rear door and jewellery was stolen from inside. If you have any information contact the police quoting incident number 298 of January 25, 2016.
On hearing about the burglary, district and county councillor Ray Wootten, whose ward takes in the Manthorpe Estate, urged residents to take extra care. He said: “Being a victim of crime is distressing in itself, but to return home and to come face to face with the offenders must be terrifying. I urge all residents to be vigilant and report any suspicious activity to the Police and review their home security.”