Couple's horror after finding armed burglars ransacking their home – Express

The ransacked property on Fillybrooks, in Stone
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A couple has shared their harrowing experience, after coming came face-to-face with armed burglars ransacking their home. The couple had reportedly gone for a sauna, after a busy day selling Christmas trees. However, when they came home, they found armed men inside their house and were chased off their own property as the raiders fled to a getaway car.
The break-in happened – at their property on the A34 through Stone – at around 7.30pm on Saturday, December 3, Stoke-on-Trent Live reports. Staffordshire Police are yet to confirm whether it is linked to a burglary on Fegg Hayes Road, in Fegg Hayes, 30 minutes earlier.
Mum-of-two Daye Hartley, 46, said: “We left the house at 6.50pm and everybody was out. When we got back we turned up and caught the three men in the act. My husband said ‘what are you doing on my property?’, but they chased us off our property as one of them had something in their hand and we didn’t know if it was a knife. When we looked on the CCTV we realised it was a long screwdriver.
“They were screaming and chased us back down out of the alleyway and into the road. I was screaming to call the police.
“The three men carried on running up the main road and they must have had a getaway vehicle. I do believe they would have used the weapon if my husband had stepped forward.
“They’d smashed a window to get inside. My daughter’s Louis Vuitton handbags which she’d got for her 18th birthday were taken as well as a couple of pairs of shoes and three gold bangles. They took my jewellery which had taken me 25 years to save up for and they took some money.Burglars had turned the place over“They took my husband’s limited-edition Rolex GMT 2 watch that his dad gave him. My Rolex was also taken as well as diamond rings and a tennis bracelet. My Chanel handbag that I got when I was 19 was also taken. The jewellery was sentimental, things that have been handed down to us.
“You work hard all of your life and it gets taken off you. My husband is a workaholic, he’s worked that hard, and he just can’t even talk about it. We’ll never get them back now.
“They smashed our house alarms off the walls. They left muddy footprints all through the house, there was smashed glass everywhere, they’d ripped our blinds getting in. They ransacked the whole house, it was a proper tip.”

Daye added: “My husband has been to the doctors as it has made him ill and I’m on sleeping tablets now. When it happened we wanted to sell the house but people have been telling us to give it time, but it has just made my husband ill. If this had happened to an old person it would have killed them. Being chased out of your own home by people screaming towards you. They were wearing big padded coats, they looked like Michelin men. It was so intimidating, it’s scary.
“We’ve been sent flowers, chocolates and biscuits, we’ve had that much of a response from the people of Stone. They have been so kind.

“We think they came for the petty cash from selling the trees. We’re trusting people, me and my husband are members of Milton Church and if they would have come to me, we would have helped them. We just feel let down. We’re not people who live in fear, but I am frightened now. I have sleeping tablets to sleep, because if I hear a noise I think they are going to come back.
“I don’t have any hatred towards them, I just want my things back as some have sentimental value as they were given to us as birthday and Christmas presents. I’m upset, but eventually life goes on and we’ll learn to trust people again. I just don’t want it happening to anyone else.”

Police made four arrests following the raid, but they were later released with no further action. A Staffordshire Police spokesman said: “We were called at 8.05pm on Saturday, December 3 to reports of a burglary on The Fillybrooks, Stone. It was reported that three men were seen running from the property. They were wearing black hoodies and masks. A number of items were stolen.
“Three men and a boy were arrested – an 18-year-old from Sligo, Ireland and a 16-year-old, 26-year-old and a 27-year-old all from Bristol – on suspicion of burglary offences. But they were eliminated from enquiries and released with no further action.”
Anyone with any information should call the police on 101, quoting incident number 720 of 3 December, or call Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555111.

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