Victims’ advice after burglary

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A COUPLE is urging people to protect their houses against burglars after thieves broke into their home and stole treasured jewellery.

Sometime between October 22 and 24, three offenders broke into a house in Longfellow Road, Banbury and stole items of jewellery while the owners were away.

The couple, who asked not be named, received a call while visiting friends in Scotland to inform them of the break-in and returned to find jewellery, including rings belonging to the woman’s late mother and mother-in-law, among the missing items.

The woman said: “Our main worries when we got the call were that the house would be trashed and how quickly could we make it secure again. When we got home it was a bit of a mess, there was mud everywhere but thankfully they had not done any damage except to the door. I’m upset about the two rings because they had sentimental value and I would love to have them back. I’m also cross at myself for not taking more care; I guess we were a bit complacent because we didn’t think it would happen to us.”

The couple praised neighbours who raised the alarm and worked to secure the house while they returned home. They also praised their locksmith, who installed new and improved locks, and police.

The man said: “The police have been first class; people complain about the lack of response but they’ve been fantastic. By the time we got back everything had been done.” The thieves stole the woman’s mother’s engagement ring dating back to 1938 (pictured) and her mother-in-law’s gold eternity ring with two small sapphires and a diamond.

They also took about £50 cash belonging to a local church which had been stored in a cash box, Euros to the value of about £100, silver and pearl earrings, a gold signet ring and two gold watches, one of which belonged to the man and the other to his mother-in-law.

Antique silver teaspoons given to the couple as a wedding present 43 years ago, were also taken.

The pair are now urging people to secure their homes and make the house look occupied to deter thieves. The man said: “There are easy things people can do, like leave lights and radios on, get higher fencing and install outdoor sensor lights. We want to shake people up to do it before, not after, they are burgled. People need to make things more difficult for thieves and raise the risk for them.”