An elderly couple are ‘heartbroken’ after burglars ransacked their home – stealing jewellery, unopened birthday and anniversary cards, and money saved for charity.
Thieves turned Betty and John Asher’s house upside down – tipping out drawers and leaving belongings strewn everywhere. They stole heirlooms that had been in the family three generations, including a locket given to 78-year-old Betty by her grandfather when she was 12.
“Some things I thought I would leave to my granddaughter,” Betty said. “They even stole my mother’s wedding ring and my grandmother’s wedding band – I expect they will be melted down.”
Betty said she and former machine operator John, 75, are heartbroken by the raid – in daylight, just before lunchtime, at the detached house in Todwick where they have lived for 15 years.
“I was in shock at first, then anger took over,” she said. “As I went through our things I realised the extent of what they had done.
“I came in and all the drawers were pulled out. There were papers all over the place. They had picked a brick out of the garden and thrown it through the window so we were deep in glass.
“When I went upstairs I’d never seen anything like it. They had emptied all the drawers in both rooms and strewn stuff all over the place. They took everything they could lay their hands on.”
The grandparents-of-six said the only relief was that their elderly dog Luke, in the house at the time, was not harmed by the thieves.
But Betty, who used to work as a cashier for the Halifax in Rotherham before retiring, is so upset she has given to charity the clothes the thieves went through but did not take.
“I couldn’t touch them, and I just didn’t want to know about them,” she said.
The burglars even took money from a pot that had been marked by the couple as cash they were going to give to Save The Children.
“And because it was my birthday coming up, my son and daughter-in-law had left birthday and anniversary cards – I hadn’t opened them and they even stole those,” added Betty.
The locket from her grandfather contained a lock of her son’s hair, and a photograph of another of her sons as a baby. And Betty said much of the jewellery taken had been gifts.
“You don’t go out and buy £1,000 worth of jewellery,” said Betty. “You buy one piece for a birthday or anniversary, another at Christmas. These things which are dear to you mount up over time.”
Betty now hopes someone may come forward with information, especially if they are offered anything to buy in suspicious circumstances, and that some of the items could be returned.
Anyone with information should call 101 quoting incident number 450 of July 23.
Among their stolen possessions was an Asus laptop, a Nexus tablet, and unusual jewellery from Greece - a silver and opal bracelet, a silver chain with a pendant drop, and silver and opal earrings.
A spokesman for South Yorkshire Police said: “Police were called at around 12.40pm on Wednesday, July 23, following reports of a burglary in Tortmayns, Todwick.
“Between 9am and 12.20pm it is reported a house was broken into and items stolen. It is believed every room in the house was ransacked. The investigation continues.”