Burglars steal Norwich boy’s Christmas presents

A Norwich mum today told of her heartache after burglars ransacked her home, stealing thousands of pounds worth of valuables, including her seven-year-old son's Christmas presents.

Sarah Barnes, 34, said the Boxing Day raid had ruined her family Christmas just two weeks after she and her son Max moved into the house on George Borrow Road, off Earlham Road.

Burglars stole Max's Christmas presents - an Xbox and a Nintendo DSi - along with other valuables, including two televisions, a laptop and jewellery. They also fled with �500 in cash.

Ms Barnes said: 'Max was crying and saying 'please help, they took my presents from Santa'.'

She had spent Boxing Day with Max, her partner Richard Mann, 45, and his son, Luke, 16, at Richard's mother's house in Costessey.Ms Barnes, a dinner lady at City Academy, said: 'We had enjoyed the perfect family Christmas; it was fantastic. We had all been at home on Christmas day with my mum, stepdad, brother and sister.

'Max and I only moved here two weeks ago for a fresh start. We got home about 7pm and my heating comes on at 4pm, so the house should have been warm but I felt a draft. We discovered we had been broken into through our dining room window and the burglars opened the back door.'

Burglars combed the house and stole presents from the living room. They also stole the televisions from Luke's and Max's rooms.

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Ms Barnes said: 'They could see it was a little boy's room. Max's toys were everywhere, but they still stole his TV.'

Ms Barnes' glass jewellery box was taken, which included nearly �500 cash which was a gift from her mother to buy new carpets for the house.

Inside the box, was a charm bracelet which had belonged to Ms Barnes' grandmother, three rings with large stones (a pink sapphire, London blue sapphire and a mystic topaz), which were presents from her sister, an 18 carat white gold necklace, which was a present from Richard last year, a silver bracelet, a charm bracelet with pink hearts all the way around, a gold heart necklance which said 'I love you' and was a present from Max, and a bespoke necklace with a white gold ring on it with diamonds.

Also in the box were two small wooden boxes in the shape of a tooth containing Max's milk teeth.

'They took Max's Xbox and they went through carrier bags of presents in the living room. Luke's PlayStaion and laptop were taken and his DVD recorder, which was a Christmas present from his mum.

'Our laptop was stolen and it had pictures of our summer holiday on it and photos of birthday cakes I have made. We can replace the laptop, but we can't get the photos back. We can't get anything back as we are uninsured.

'They went through my wardrobe and Richard's holdall bag, and stole cash.

'Our curtains were open and a car was parked outside the house so it didn't look like we were on holiday. We got cleared out and I want people in my area to be aware.' Ms Barnes added.

Ms Barnes said the family was shaken by the burglary.

'Max was too scared and he stayed next door at his best friend Gabrielle's house. Richard, Luke and I stayed in the house, but we all stayed up for ages; we couldn't sleep. We went out yesterday and the first thing Max did was check everything was still there.

'Can you imagine if it was your child coming home and seeing that all their presents had been stolen?'

Ms Barnes' family all contributed to surprise Max with a replacement Xbox.

'He wasn't expecting it; he was so overhwelmed,' she said. 'We would like to thank our friends and family; they have all been brilliant.'

A spokesman for Norfolk police said: 'Police are appealing for information following a burglary in Norwich. The break-in happened between 11.30am and 7.15pm on Sunday December 26.

'Offenders gained entry via a rear window and stole a quantity of Christmas presents and electrical equipment.'

Has crime ruined your Christmas? Contact reporter Lucy Wright on 01603 772495 or email lucy.wright@archant.co.uk.