Thieves ruin Bury family's Christmas by ransacking their home and stealing their presents (From This Is Lancashire)
Thieves ruin Bury family's Christmas by ransacking their home and stealing their presents
THIEVES have left a Bury family heartbroken after they ransacked their home and took thousands of pounds worth of Christmas presents and valuables.
Mum-of-two Michelle Longden and her partner Leon Cowley came back home from purchasing their last festive gifts in Bury on Saturday to discover their house had been torn apart.
Opportunist burglars looted the couple’s Vernon Street home between 3pm and 5.15pm after a window at the rear of the property was left slightly ajar.
The burglars ripped the wrapping paper from presents for sons Reece, aged nine, and Connor, aged 15, that were hidden in Michelle’s room, and snatched valuables from around the house.
After ransacking her room, they made off with two laptops, a PlayStation, an iPod, a Wii U console, an iPhone, video games, clothes and aftershave.
Teaching assistant Michelle, aged 32, and postman Leon, aged 34, are now picking up the pieces but are not able to claim on home insurance for any of the items stolen.
Reece, who has special needs caused by congenital myotonic dystrophy and hydrocephalus, has been left deeply distressed by the burglary.
Michelle said: “Reece wouldn’t come in the house for ages. He can’t understand why somebody would do this. It has really shaken him up.”
Irreplaceable items cherished by Michelle including solid silver keepsakes, a gold locket with baby pictures and a gold bracelet engraved with ‘Mum’ were also taken.
Michelle continued: “It is absolutely heartbreaking. We have lived here nearly 12 years and nothing like this has happened before, so I would urge everyone to be vigilant.
“These people are opportunists and it was so easy for them to strike.
“They just took the chance and so destroyed someone else’s Christmas.
“Now I keep thinking what if the same thing happens to anybody else.”
Michelle added: “I have just got a new job, so we thought we could treat the children this year.
“I love Christmas and have always been a big kid but now I just keep getting upset.” Michelle also had her handbag stolen, with its contents emptied out on to the floor and strewn across the living room.
A neighbour had spotted two men with hoods up knocking on Michelle’s door at around 4pm before knocking the door of mum and next-door-neighbour Elaine Longden’s house.
Elaine’s shed was also broken into on Saturday afternoon although nothing of value was taken.
The thieves were believed to have been working on foot because no large bulky items such as televisions were stolen.
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