A RETIRED couple say their memories have been stolen after generations of treasured possessions were raided from their home in a daytime smash and grab.
Burglars forced open the locked back door of Paul and Bernadette Edwards’ home on High Street, Bagillt, before trashing two rooms and making off with thousands of pounds of cash and jewellery.
Five days later, no one has been arrested.
Late last Wednesday morning, the grandparents-of-five – who have lived at the house since Mr Edwards built it 49 years ago – popped out to take their eight-year-old grandson for candyfloss.
The burglars struck at about noon.
When the family returned home 40 minutes later, they found eight or nine police cars, police officers and dogs surrounding their home, with a police helicopter circling overhead.
An hour and a half later when they were allowed back inside, they were faced with seeing both bedrooms ripped apart. Wall-length mirrored cupboard doors had been smashed in the frenzied ransacking, with drawers ripped out and everything strewn over the floor.
All the couple’s most valuable possessions had been stolen.
“We couldn’t believe it,” said Mr Edwards. “We just went out to get our grandson a treat. We were hardly gone but it was long enough for them to take everything. It’s all gone.”
A member of the public called police just after noon after seeing two men acting suspiciously.
Later, investigating officers said two males were seen running in the direction of Bagillt Cemetery carrying a heavy bag following the burglary.
The couple say they fear they will never see the stolen items again.
Among the many items taken was a gold pocket watch inscribed ‘To Samuel’, given to Mr Edwards’ late father by his grandmother as a 21st birthday gift.
Four rings handed down to Mrs Edwards were also taken.
The treasured items were among those the 71-year-olds planned to pass onto their children and future generations.
“Every memory has been taken,” said Mrs Edwards. “All the things Paul’s given me over the years. They can’t be replaced.
“I can’t look at them now and say, that’s what he gave me on our 25th or on my 18th birthday. They’ve taken the watch I got him for his 50th birthday. Even his wedding ring.
“Builders never wear wedding rings so he only wore it on special occasions. You can’t replace those things. That’s what hurts, badly.”
Mr Edwards said what was gone was “irreplaceable”.
“The only thing I’m glad about is that on their way out they dropped my father’s war medals,” he said. “That’s all they’ve left me.”
Mrs Edwards who suffered panic attacks after the burglary, said she needed to get rid of all evidence the men had been in her home.
“You wake up in the morning and look around your bedroom and you think about what’s happened,” she said. “All the bedding is going. I can’t have it. They’ve been there. They’ve touched things.“
The couple said they wanted to warn people to leave nothing of value in their homes.
“It’s not safe,” said Mrs Edwards. “You think you’re safe but you’re not.”
The parents-of-two paid tribute to their family and the local community who rallied around to help, tidying up, providing CCTV evidence and sending bouquets of flowers.
“The response has been fantastic,” said Mr Edwards.
The police investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information should call 101 or Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111, quoting crime reference number R121927.
The family are now going to offer a reward for information.
See full story in the Leader