Sheffield crime: Pensioner "terrorised" by burglars with batons who smashed phone to stop her calling for help

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"We are just lucky the grandkids weren’t here ... it would have been so traumatising for them to see"

Five men wearing balaclavas and armed with batons burgled the house of a woman in her 60s, holding her back while they stole thousands of pounds worth of items.

Mandy Wild, aged 69, was home alone watching TV last night (February 28) when the men broke into her home on Manvers Road, Swallownest.

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One of the men held her back while the others ransacked the property, stole a pillowcase full of jewellery, and smashed her phone to stop her from calling 999.

The front door has been destroyed.The front door has been destroyed.
The front door has been destroyed. | Chris Whiteley

Chris Whiteley, aged 67, Mandy’s partner of 50 years, said: "I got a phone call from my sister-in-law saying that Mandy had been burgled and terrorised. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.

"I set off home right away. Three police cars came zooming past me on the way, but they were too late."

The couple, who spent decades running pubs, know that a pillowcase full of jewellery, both their passports, a handbag, and cash were taken.

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Mandy Wild and Chris Whiteley.Mandy Wild and Chris Whiteley.
Mandy Wild and Chris Whiteley. | Chris Whiteley

Chris added: "She had run next door for help and was there when I arrived. She was hysterical.

"They had batons, they were tooled up. They told her to be quiet and kept asking, ‘where is the safe?’, and she said ‘we’re pensioners, we don’t have one’."

Chris is offering a £2,000 reward to anyone who is able to help find the men, and a police investigation has been launched.

The couple's front door has been boarded up temporarily.The couple's front door has been boarded up temporarily.
The couple's front door has been boarded up temporarily. | Chris Whiteley

He added: "So much sentimental stuff she has accumulated for years is gone.

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"We need to catch them more than anything. The jewellery will just get melted down, but they need to be caught.

"We are just lucky the grandkids weren’t here. We pick them up from school on alternating days, and it would have been so traumatising for them to see."

Inspector Christopher Scanlon, of Rotherham South Neighbourhood Policing Team, said: "We understand incidents of this nature will cause concern in the area and there will be additional patrols taking place to reassure members of the community.

"An investigation has been launched with enquiries ongoing to locate those responsible and I would urge anyone with concerns or queries to get in touch with our officers while they are out on patrol."

Anyone with information should get in touch by calling 101, quoting incident number 737 of February 28. You can also share what you know anonymously via the independent charity Crimestoppers.