Norwich burglary victim speaks out about how devastating the crime can be
As part of our Beat the Burglar campaign crime reporter PETER WALSH talks to a victim of burglary about the devastating effects of the crime.
Adam, not his real name, was on holiday when burglars ransacked his Norwich home in September, but it was of little consolation to the father-of-two and grandfather-of-two who is still trying to come to terms with the ordeal.
The 69-year-old said the actions of those responsible for breaking into the family home would live with him and his family 'forever', forcing them to bolster security measures in a bid to ensure they never again experience the pain of being victims.
He said: 'It's something that will live with us forever.
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'We had been away and didn't know until we came back. My wife went indoors first and I was following bringing the cases in when I heard her scream out 'Oh my God'.
'It was a terrible shock. Other than damaging, beyond repair, the French doors, which we've got to have new ones, there was no damage to the place but every room was absolutely ransacked.
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'He must've known he had plenty of time. He went to every room – even shoes were pulled out in case I hid money in them.'
Adam, who would like to know why his house was targeted by burglars and how they knew he was away, said the burglary resulted in a sad end to their holiday.
He said: 'We had a lovely time and had been away for a fortnight, but as soon as we walked in the house we forgot the holiday and have never mentioned it since.
'The nagging thought I've still got is how could the burglar know the house was empty – I live in a close, so we don't normally have people walking past the house. I want to know why they picked my house and how did they know we were away? I hardly told anyone I went away.'
A man has been arrested and charged in relation to the burglary and is currently going through the court system.
Adam said he is pleased that someone has been arrested but admits it has still been difficult to come to terms with, particularly for his wife who had some sentimental items of jewellery stolen.
He said: 'My wife lost some jewellery, one part belonging to her granny and another belonging to her late mother which hasn't been found. My wife is quite distressed about that.'
The burglary has really focused Adam's attention upon ensuring he does not become a victim of burglary again.
He said: 'I'm now ultra aware. The back door was always locked and the front door open but now it's always locked whether we're sitting together or we're on our own.'
You can report any information about burglaries or suspicious activity, people or vehicles to police via 101 or by calling Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111. If you think a crime is in progress always call 999.
If you would like to speak to an officer regarding crime prevention advice you can contact your local safer neighbourhood team by calling 101 or by visiting www.norfolk.police.uk