‘I’ve lost 50 years worth of memories’ - burglars target Burwell residents, stealing jewellery and cash, in two separate incidents within four days

John and Patricia Sigrist

John and Patricia Sigrist - Credit: Archant

A Burwell woman has “lost 50 years worth of memories” after burglars broke in and stole more than 40 items of jewellery – including an engagement ring - on Friday evening.

Another burglary, between 9.30pm and 10.30pm on Monday evening, involved a woman in her 80s being threatened when four masked men entered her home in Isaacson Road, Burwell, stealing jewellery and cash.

One of the men is believed to be in his 60s and the other three in their late teens or 20s.

Patricia Sigrist, 70, her husband John, 75, and their ten-year-old granddaughter were in the conservatory having dinner as part of a sleepover treat when the thieves struck.

“Our tiny Jack Russell, Abby, started to bark so we thought she heard something outside. We stupidly told her to shut up, but Abby continued to bark.

“I wandered into the living room and no-one was there but then when I went into the bedroom one of the windows was wide open.

“They had obviously heard me coming so broke the bigger window from the inside using a screwdriver to force the lock on their way out.

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“My wife, Patsy, had just got changed, so she had taken most of her jewellery off.

“All she has left is her wedding band and a small golden pendant. She’s lost 50 years worth of memories.

The couple, who were offered counselling and help from victim support on Saturday afternoon, have seven grandchildren, which they say has kept them busy.

“Pat is still trying to remember everything that was in the jewellery box to write a list for the police, so we haven’t really had time to get depressed about it.

“It’s just the thought that they were in our bedroom when we were having dinner… talk about an invasion of privacy.”

Mrs Sigrist added: “Since Friday, I’ve sat back and thought; ‘at least we didn’t see them’, so we weren’t confronted.

“But what would have happened if we hadn’t have appeared? I just don’t know?

“I know I can replace some of the jewellery but it will never actually be the same.”

Since the burglary, Mr and Mrs Sigrist have received flowers from neighbours and friends.

“It’s not a nice feeling when you realise your not as secure as you thought you were,” said Mrs Sigrist.

“Suddenly you feel very vulnerable. To hear that someone else has been threatened and burgled is really awful.”

Police are unsure at this time whether the two burglaries are linked.

Officers are reminding people to make sure they keep doors and windows locked and to report any suspicious behaviour.

Anyone with information regarding either incident should contact police on 101, call

Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111 or visit www.crimestoppers-uk.org