ONE of the victims in a string of burglaries plaguing a South Holland village has told how they went on holiday fearing their home would be targeted.
The retired couple suspected someone had been checking out their home in Churchgate, Whaplode, after they found footprints in their flowerbeds four days before they went away.
Their suspicions, which were reported to the police, were confirmed as they returned home to find family waiting to break the news.
The burglary was one of seven reported to police in eight days between April 21 and 28 in Churchgate, Sholtsgate, The Tilney and Stockwell Gate.
Someone had been at home during four of the break-ins.
The couple, who have lost a number of items including some gold jewellery, said: “Unfortunately because of the footprints in the garden it was in the back of our minds. We did not discuss it while we were away but the thought was there.”
The culprits smashed their way into the house through a patio door and also tried to get into the garage.
The couple added: “We were very lucky not to lose much from inside the house. We think when the alarm went off they scarpered.”
Another victim, who lives in The Tilney, said his home was struck less than 30 minutes after his wife got into bed. He believes the burglars grabbed what they could carry and ran away after hearing them upstairs.
He said: “I was thinking that I could either charge down the stairs or take my wife’s advice and stay upstairs. At the time you don’t really think about what’s going on.
“It probably dawned on me later that week when I was listening to every noise, movement and everyone that came to the door or walked past the house.”
He suspects those responsible may have even returned outside the home two nights later, but they had gone by the time police officers arrived.
Insp Jim Tyner, neighbourhood response inspector at Spalding, said: “There is ongoing police activity in Whaplode in connection with a recent number of burglaries although, for operational reasons, it is not possible to go into specific details at this stage.
“I recognise that every burglary is traumatic for the victim and would like to reassure the local community that we are taking these offences very seriously.
“I would urge members of the public who see any suspicious activity in Whaplode to phone the police immediately.
“Any information may be important, however small.
“Statistically, South Holland is a safe place to live and work and we are working hard to ensure that it remains so.”