JANET Bartholomew and her family are just finding out about the horrifying experience of burglary.
The mum returned home on Monday afternoon to find her house had been ransacked by intruders - who made off with thousands of pounds’ worth of valuables before fleeing in the £37,000 BMW parked on the driveway.
Janet, aged 42, said she is less concerned about being parted from her possessions than about losing 8,000 pictures of her four-year-old daughter, Lily, which were stored on a laptop computer and memory card.
“We’re never going to see those photos again,” said heartbroken Janet.
“I suppose I can get my head around people burgling for money, but to take someone’s personal items that don’t have anything to do with them, I just can’t understand.
“They’ve just got a total disregard for people’s feelings.”
Janet and her husband James, 32, took pictures documenting cherished memories in little Lily’s life, from the day of her birth to fun holidays.
“We’re devastated about it,” she said. “James always meant to back them up but he never got round to it, and he’s distraught.”
Janet, a florist, said she and James, a funeral director, were out at work at the time of the break-in.
She drove past their home on Broom Road, Rotherham, on the way to pick up Lily from school at 2.40pm, and noticed the child’s car seat was lying on the drive.
“I stopped to check, and saw the car was missing,” she said.
“I rang James up and he came straight home. I walked in the house and realised everything had been taken. I was a bit hysterical, I was shaking from head to toe.
“It’s an awful feeling to walk into your own home and realise someone’s taken everything that means something to you.
“In the bedroom they had emptied all the drawers and chucked them on the bed, it looked like a jumble sale.
“It was really upsetting - that was the worst room.”
Police later recovered the BMW in Intake, Sheffield, after a witness spotted it being driven around by four young men wearing baseball caps.
“I just hope they can catch them,” Janet said.
“I’m a bit paranoid now. We’ve had to change all the locks and I sleep with a set of keys when I go to bed.”
The thieves took an iPad, an iMac, a 3D TV, an iPod Shuffle, a PlayStation Three, a Nikon camera with lenses, iPhones and jewellery, worth around £9,000 in total.
Anyone with information should call South Yorkshire Police on 101.
* Would you respond to a car or a house burglar alarm?
Vote online at thestar.co.uk