Children’s holiday savings stolen in Yarmouth walk-in burglary
- Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016
A 'heartless' thief took children's pocket money which was being saved for a family holiday to Disneyland.
Chelsea Ellenden, her husband Neil and their two young sons were asleep in their Yarmouth home on Friday, June 3, when a burglar got in through their back door.
Mrs Ellenden, 22, said she thought she'd locked the door - which they didn't use often - but it must not have locked properly, allowing the opportunistic thief to get in at around 4.30am.
Mr Ellenden noticed something wasn't right when he got up in the morning and first noticed the mobile phone belonging to his late mother was not on charge.
The 43-year-old said he had been using the phone himself, and the photos on it held a lot of memories and sentimental value.
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He said: 'They also took my wife's handbag and a big vodka bottle we picked up at a car boot, which the boys used to keep their change in.'
In the bottle was around £70 which sons Jack, 6, and Reece, 4, had been carefully placing their pennies in, with hopes to spend them on a holiday to Disneyland Paris.
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Mrs Ellenden said: 'We found my handbag in someone's bin across the road, and my purse not much further, they'd only taken £10. The police have got that now.'
But Mr Ellenden, who is a carer to Reece who has diabetes, said they were yet to find the phone.
He said: 'It's useless to them because it's blocked, so they can't even use it. It's not even been turned on since it's been gone.'
Although the family aren't confident the children's money will be found, they hope the thief might be caught thanks to a neighbour's CCTV system.
But they're taking the opportunity to warn others to double check they've locked their doors.
Mrs Ellenden said: 'I thought I had locked the door, but we just wouldn't want it to happen to anyone else.'
It comes after Norfolk Police issued a warning after a spate of similar walk-in burglaries across the town.
They said more than half the burglaries recorded in Yarmouth in the past three months have been at insecure properties.
Superintendent Roger Wiltshire said: 'The chance of becoming a victim of a burglary remains low, however, you can reduce this risk dramatically by taking some simple steps.
'I would advise people to get into the habit of locking their doors. Especially when you go to bed or if you are going to spend some time in your back garden.'