Burglars take haul of family jewellery and diamond rings

Thieves stole wedding rings, family heirlooms and alcohol from a Stanstead woman during a break–in at her home.

Julia Stone, 69, was called back from celebrating the new year with family in Kent after her home in The Green was broken into between December 23 and New Year’s Eve.

“They had smashed the door in, they didn’t worry about the locks,” said Mrs Stone, who has lived in Stanstead all her life.

“They took six gold rings, including wedding rings and four gold watches, one of which I was given for my 21st birthday – one was my mum’s and one was my mother–in–law’s.”

She described the most distinctive items as a gold ring with a ball of gold in the middle, with a star-shaped indentation and a diamond in the middle, and a small Accurist watch with a thin, smooth gold cord.

A gold bangle, other small items of jewellery and three bottles of vodka were also stolen during the break-in, which left Mrs Stone’s house with drawers and property strewn across the kitchen, living room and upstairs.

“I would think it must have been a couple of people, but only one went upstairs as they left muddy footprints,” she said, adding that the offenders had drank from several bottles of alcohol which were left in the house.

A second house, nearby in Upper Street, was also broken into between 10am on December 30 and 1.30pm on Wednesday, while the elderly resident was in hospital recovering from a broken pelvis, according to Mrs Stone.

A window was smashed and an untidy search of the property was made, although it is currently unclear whether anything was stolen.

Sergeant Kevin Horton, from Babergh West Safer Neighbourhood Team, said: “Tackling burglary remains a priority for the Babergh area and additional patrols are taking place as a result of this.

“We are linking these two burglaries and are continuing to conduct inquiries.

“We recently ran a ‘lights on timers’ week with the support of Neighbourhood Watch co-ordinators. The campaign asked residents to leave lights on during the evenings as a deterrent to burglars, giving the impression someone is at home.”

Sgt Horton explained that installing home CCTV and alarm systems, locking all doors and windows even when leaving the house for a few minutes, marking all property with security pens and recording serial numbers of valuable items and taking photographs of them would help prevent burglars and assist police.

Anyone with information relating to either burglary should contact police on 101.