A SINGLE mum and her three young daughters were ‘heartbroken’ when they returned home in February after three weeks visiting family to find their recent Christmas presents had been stolen.
Maureen Riley-Stewart was devastated to discover that callous thieves had broken in to her home on two separate occasions while she was away visiting her mother in Devon.
“I feel invaded and so down and depressed - it took me five years to get all those things together,” she said.
“My children are all heartbroken, my littlest one is having nightmares and I can’t sleep - it’s been so traumatic,” she added.
The family’s Wainfleet home was first broken into on February 2 and then again on February 7 when they entered through the smashed kitchen window, left after the first break-in.
A 42 inch plasma TV, two X-Boxes and a Nintendo Wii were taken along with valuable jewellery and money found in the children’s birthday cards.
Maureen estimates the total value of the stolen goods to be several thousands of pounds and as an unemployed single mum without household insurance, says she has no way of replacing the stolen gifts and money.
Lincolnshire Police have issued advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of crime when leaving a property unoccupied during holidays or other visits.
Residents are reminded to lock windows and doors, keep valuables and spare keys out of sight and to cancel deliveries while away from the property.
They are also advised to install visible burglar alarms and security lighting and to ask a responsible neighbour to check on the property while it is unoccupied.
Timer switches for lights and radios can also be set to create the impression that a house is lived in while away.
And marking electrical items with a postcode and address can act as a further deterrent to thieves.
If you have any information regarding the break-in at Mawson Gardens, Wainfleet, or suspect you know the people responsible, contact the police on 101.
Alternatively you can call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.