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26 October 2011, 10:24 | Updated: 26 October 2011, 15:10
A Hampshire burglary victim has spoken out about her experiences after her home was targeted for the third time.
Margaret Gordon’s home in Bursledon was broken into at the end of September. They forced open a door at the back of the property and stole an antique table, clock, compass, watch and Margaret’s childhood teddy, passed down from her mother, who died in 1964.
It’s the third time the house has been targeted by burglars with the first in April 2005 and another in February this year.
A 47-year-old Portsmouth man was convicted in connection with the first burglary, in which treasured items of jewellery belonging to Margaret’s mother were stolen. He was sentenced to four years in prison in 2005. No one’s been arrested in connection with the break-in earlier this year.
Margaret told Heart she no longer feels comfortable in her own home:
“Now I feel I have nothing left of my mum. In February they took all her jewellery and I thought, ‘at least I still have her teddy’. Now I don’t even have that.
“Some people may laugh and think it’s only a teddy but he’s almost 100 years old and very special to me because he was my teddy when I was a child and my mum’s before that. He isn’t worth a penny but is of huge sentimental value.
“I can’t describe how that makes me feel. I feel uneasy in my own home and feel that I am being watched.
“I walk back in after being out and check that everything was where I left it. It’s a horrible feeling that I’m not sure will ever go away now.”
Margaret is supporting Hampshire Constabulary’s anti-burglary campaign, Operation Nemesis, to try and help others be more aware about burglary.
Op Nemesis was launched on October 1 with the aim of targeting offenders linked to serious acquisitive crime, specifically burglary.
The crack-down will see photos of those wanted for burglary published on the force’s website and social networking sites, covert and overt operations increased to hit prolific offending and officers spreading burglary prevention advice.
Margaret said: “We did everything right in protecting our home. We always shut all of the windows before we go out. We ensure the house is secure and on the previous two occasions we have been burgled we have taken new advice on how to secure our home.
“My advice would be to check and double check everything before you go out and to be vigilant. Don’t give burglars a reason to pick your home.”
PC Alex Spratt of Eastleigh Priority Crime Team, said: “Margaret has been left very shaken by this whole ordeal and feels insecure in the one place she is supposed to feel the most safe.
“Burglary is a despicable crime that affects the lives of its victims long after the act.
“I am keen not only to identify the culprit or culprits but to reunite Margaret with the items so precious to her.
“I urge anyone with any information on this burglary, or the whereabouts of the stolen items, to make contact immediately.”
Margaret is offering a reward for the return of the bear. Anyone with information on the burglary, or who may know the whereabouts of any of the stolen property, is asked to contact 101, quoting Operation Nemesis.