An open letter to those who burgled our house

Good day to you, and I think I can probably say that you’re having a better day than we had when we returned from holiday to find you’d paid us an unwelcome visit!

From the way you conducted the thefts, you would appear to be quite experienced in the business of stealing other people’s property.

You wore gloves and were careful not to leave anything behind that could be identified or yield DNA in any way, and systematically searched through all our personal things (one of the worst aspects is knowing that you know what all our family look like, but we haven’t a clue who or what you are!).

What made it surprising was that you took some rather random objects alongside the valuable items. What do you want with my son’s ceramic martial arts award he received for attaining his black belt, for instance? Or my “nuts and bolts” figure of a newly-delivered woman, baby and midwife?

Not to mention my large hall mirrors and two wooden giraffes! Incidentally, you left one of the giraffe’s ears on the path when you climbed back over our padlocked gate.

I expect you justify your criminality by thinking that the insurance will pay out for all the jewellery you stole. Stupidly, I had never got around to having it valued or catalogued so will have to rely on photographs to prove I’ve lost it and my insurance will in no way cover the value.

Even if I got the full monetary value of the goods, it would not enable me to replace the rings left to me by my mother and grandmother which I intended to pass on to my own granddaughters in time, and my own engagement and eternity rings, never mind the other pieces which were in the suede jewellery roll you took.

The very worst thing for me is not the mess and damage you caused, or even the loss of the jewellery. You took a jewellery box from a wardrobe that actually contained nothing else but “tatt”; some odd earrings and old necklaces mainly.

But under that top layer were precious items that will be of no significance to you, but were invaluable to me and the loss of which has hurt me deeply.

There were cot cards and ankle bracelets from the hospital when my babies were born, but most importantly of all was the old audio tape. This is a recording of my Mum telling her life story to a researcher who was looking at the changes in women’s roles in the last century, and I had planned to have it transferred onto CD’s so that myself, my brother and the grandchildren could have a copy each.

I expect you have thrown it into the rubbish with never a thought as to why it had been saved. My mum is dead and that is the last link with her gone now.

Well, I don’t know quite what I hope to achieve by writing this letter to you. Perhaps you won’t even see it. However, if you do and it pricks your conscience for even a second – and you haven’t disposed of that tape – PLEASE just send it back. After all, you know where we live!!

SPALDING FAMILY

Name and address

supplied