A WOMAN from Grays, who was the victim of a burglary in which hoards of sentimental items were stolen, has spoken out about her experience and praised officers from Essex Police for recovering her belongings.
Janet’s life was turned upside down when burglars broke into her home on Tuesday, 29 December 2015. Items stolen from the house included electronic equipment, jewellery and a number of keepsakes with high sentimental value.
Arriving home to find the house had been ransacked, Janet was knocked for six.
“I like to think that I am a strong person, able to cope with most things that life has thrown at me” says Janet “but getting burgled was a devastating experience.
“It had a profound effect on my family; I live alone and after the burglary my little granddaughter said she was scared to visit in case the ‘bad men’ will be at my house.
“As soon as I reported the burglary, there was a marvellous response from the police.
The Crime Scenes Investigators arrived really quickly and I was kept updated the whole time. The detectives who led the investigation have been brilliant.”
Out of everything that was stolen, Janet was most upset about the items that had belonged to her late husband and parents.
“My family didn’t have a lot of money growing up and I couldn’t understand why they stole things that had no financial value. Things like my mum’s personal effects from when she was living in the East End, her old handbag and makeup.“
Back in January, Janet was contacted by detectives from Grays CID who informed her that a number of these items had been recovered as a result of their investigations.
Janet said: “When I got the call, I was absolutely amazed. I never expected to see any of my possessions again.”
“I went to the station to identify my items and I couldn’t believe the size of the display of stolen property. It’s obvious that lots of hours have gone into the investigation and they had been working around the clock.”
Among the items recovered by police were a computer, a camera, jewellery and keepsakes belonging to Janet, her husband and her mother.
“One of the items I’m really pleased about getting back is an engraved tankard my son had bought for his Dad before he passed away” says Janet “They also managed to retrieve a King George medal awarded to my father and some letters from when was serving in forces.”
Following a large-scale investigation by detectives in Grays, three men were arrested on suspicion of burglary in January 2016.
The men, all from Caledon Road, London, were sentenced at Basildon Crown Court on Wednesday, June 8, 2016.
Ioan Rus, aged 29, was sentenced to five years for conspiring to commit burglary and fraud.
Ovidiu Radu, aged 24, was sentenced to five years for conspiring to commit burglary and fraud.
Elvis Mihalia, aged 31, was sentenced to eighteen months for handling stolen goods.
Janet says she cannot praise officers enough for their involvement in the case and says she hopes no one has to go through the same experience.
“I had never been burgled before and I hope never to be again. I am moving on with my life and would like to draw a line under everything.”