THOUSANDS of pounds worth of Asian heritage gold jewellery with huge sentimental value was stolen when burglars ransacked a home as the owners were celebrating Eid.

Ali and Sumeya Sodha, of St Anne’s Close, Blackburn, were out with family and friends to mark the holiday when the thieves hit.

They smashed through the patio door before searching the house for the pieces, which are worth between £8,000 and £10,000.

Among items taken were bracelets, bangles, necklaces, earrings and chains, which were given to health care assistant Mrs Sodha when the couple married in 2006 in Kenya.

Mr Sodha said the couple were devastated to find their house had been turned upside down.

The NHS caretaker said: “We were out all day because it was Eid. But it was a day of celebration just destroyed.

“It is supposed to be a happy time with family after fasting, but when we came home and found this, our day of happiness and joy had gone.”

Mr Sodha, 29, said when the pair arrived home around 12.30am yesterday they could not get in through the front door because of the damage, so had to go round the back, where they discovered the patio door had been completely smashed with a brick.

The burglars had gone upstairs at the two-bedroomed property, and pulled out the drawers of the divan bed where the jewellery had been hidden.

The pieces were described as Asian heritage gold, which are typically of high purity and passed down from generation to generation.

Mr Sodha added: “They did not touch the television or anything else. They made a right mess of the house.

“It is really sentimental stuff and we are gutted.

“I do not know why anyone would do this.

“We have inherited the jewellery from family and friends.

“It has value and it is not just monetary, but emotional too.

“We can replace the door, but the main thing they have taken off us is part of our life and we cannot replace that.

“The jewellery is something we would have wanted to pass on to our children when they are married.”

A police investigation has been launched and officers are studying CCTV footage captured on a neighbour’s camera.

Insp Andy Winter appealed for anybody with information about the burglary, which happened between 11am on Monday and 12.50am yesterday to come forward.

He also advised people with expensive items to keep them in a safe bolted to the ground, or to put them in a bank or community safety deposit box.

The officer said: “There have been four or five Asian heritage gold burglaries in the Blackburn area in recent weeks. This has been a bit of a crime pattern.

“We are targeting those offences and we have increased patrols in the area.”

Anybody with information should call police on 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555111.