A 92-year-old man – whose home was ransacked while he lay ill in hospital – had been reduced to keeping a baseball bat in his bedroom to try to fend off intruders after a previous burglary.
Heartbroken relatives never told great grandfather David Dinsdale about the latest break-in at his home on Monteney Road, Ecclesfield, Sheffield, for fear the shock would devastate him.
He passed away three weeks later – without ever finding out ‘everything of value’ had been taken from his home a second time.
His son Tony, 70, said his parents were first burgled when they were babysitting for their grandchildren years ago. Everything of value they owned was taken.
Since then Mr Dinsdale – who had two children, four grandchildren and seven great grandchildren – kept a baseball bat by his bed for protection in case intruders got in again.
“Whether he would have had the strength to use it at the age of 92, probably not,” said Tony.
“But he kept it by his bed since that first break-in.
“We never told him about the latest burglary, when he was in hospital, because he would have been devastated.
“Whoever did this ransacked his home. They tipped everything out and took everything of value – his TV, his DVD player and the watch he was given at work.
“I felt sick when the burglary was discovered. My father was ill in hospital and that was enough of a worry for him, without us telling him he had lost everything again.
“There is nothing of value left in his house. It has all gone.”
Tony said he is desperate for anyone with information about the whereabouts of his father’s stolen watch – a gold Rolex Tudor Geneva model – to get in touch.
His father was presented with the watch to mark 25 years of service at engineering firm Hall and Pickles Ltd, where he worked for over 40 years.
The watch has a brown leather strap, an ivory round face, and Mr Dinsdale’s name and the name of his workplace etched on the back.
Tony, from Silkstone Common, Barnsley, said: “My father was very proud of the watch, it meant a lot to him, and he always said he wanted to hand it down to the family.
“He only ever wore it on special occasions such as birthdays and christenings.
“He was proud of the fact that he worked for the same firm for his entire working life.”
Mr Dinsdale’s home was broken into some time between Saturday, December 21, and Saturday, December 28, last year.
* Anyone with information about the burglary or the whereabouts of the watch is urged to call South Yorkshire Police on 101, quoting incident number 431 of December 28 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.