Sidford RBL widow robbed while at hospital

Heartless thieves steal �8,000 worth of sentimental jewellery, laptops, games consoles and car from widow of Sidmouth’s former Royal British Legion chairman

HEARTLESS thieves have stolen around �8,000 worth of sentimental jewellery pieces, laptops, games consoles and a car from the widow of Sidmouth’s former Royal British Legion chairman.

The Legion’s secretary, Maxine Kershaw, whose husband Alan, died in January, had recently suffered a stroke.

She left her Sidford home at 5.30pm on Monday, with sons Greig and Alex, to go for tests at hospital in Exeter.

On returning, at around 8.30pm, they found the back door smashed in and their home ransacked.

It is not the first time the family has lost its possessions. In 2008, in a freak storm, their Tipton St John bungalow was flooded and they lost everything.

Still shocked by the burglary, Maxine, who runs Regency Cleaners, Sidmouth, said she and the family are particularly devastated by the loss of jewellery which her husband either owned or had given to her.

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“A lot of jewellery taken had great sentimental value because it belonged to Alan or he bought it for me, and they are some of the last things I had of him.

“I would really urge anyone with any information whatsoever to come forward and tell the police.”

Their silver Vauxhall Zafira car, stolen on the day, was found abandoned on Wednesday afternoon in a small lane opposite Seaway Lane, between Tipton St John and Ottery St Mary.

Thieves had tried to set fire to the inside, which was full of smoke, said PC Carly Davies at Honiton CID, who is investigating the burglary. It is now being examined by scenes of crime officers (SOCO).

A four-page list of items stolen has been issued to the Sidmouth Herald by police.

Apart from �500 cash and �100 of vouchers, items of jewellery taken include a man’s 9ct gold heavy bracelet and heavy gold chain, worth around �1,500; a man’s Sekonda pocket watch; a ladies’ 9ct chain with a heart and diamond worth �200, and gold rings, one with a round garnet stone, another with an oval opal.

Games consoles, including an Xbox 360 (serial number 109613103205) worth �250, plus �500 worth of games, Wii and Wii Fit board and games, a DS and DSi console, accessories and games and various PS2 games, worth around �1,500 in all, were also stolen.

Three laptops, an Acer, Toshiba and Compaq, an iPad and case, iPod docking station, Sony portable DVD player, Garmin Sat nav, Philips Dictaphone and Kodak digital camera, worth more than �4,000, were also taken.

RBL chairman Dave O’Connor said: “This is absolutely terrible. Her sons were with her at the hospital. Someone smashed the bottom pane of the back door in and robbed her of lots of things. It is such a shame.”

Anyone with information can contact PC Davies at Honiton CID on (08452) 777444, crime reference: KS/11/341.

If you are offered items, similar to those listed, cheaply, please contact the police.