SNEAKY thieves broke into a house by tunnelling a hole through the roof to steal £12,000 worth of jewellery.

The brazen burglars targeted a home Northville Drive, Westcliff.

Southend Standard:

Taken - some of the jewellery that was stolen

Southend Standard:

Removed - The burglar used a shovel to remove the roof tiles

The victims, a couple in their 60s, said the thieves had taken a chance to raid their home while they were on holiday, using tools to remove the roof tiles before getting through.

Images of the stolen jewellery have been issued as part of an appeal to trace them.

The woman, who asked to remain anonymous, said: “I’m assuming they couldn’t get in the back doors, so they got onto the roof and used a garden trowel to lift the roof tiles off, before they tunnelled through the ceiling into my lounge.

“It was quite a small hole, about two feet wide, whoever did it must have been tiny, it couldn’t have been a fat builder that’s for sure.

“We were on holiday at the time, with no cars on the driveway. Our neighbours were saying they had people going around asking to do jobs, so I reckon they took a chance on our empty house.

“They went into the bedroom, which is where police found fingerprints. They grabbed a carrier bag just filled it with whatever they could get, which in the end was about £12,000 worth of jewellery.

“I can’t be angry about someone who is that desperate. I’m sad for them and want them to get help so they don’t do it to anyone else.

“We’re insured, so it will all be covered, what I don’t like is that my home has been violated.”

A spokesman for Essex Police said: “We are investigating following a burglary at an address in Northville Drive, Westcliff between May 25 and 26.

“If you have any information about the incident or have been offered or seen the jewellery for sale please call us on 101 quoting the crime reference number 42/82264/19.” People can also call Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.