Family burgled on Christmas Day

Ilfracombe teenager’s Christmas money stolen after Highfield Road break in.

THE festive season has been blighted for an Ilfracombe family after callous crooks broke into their home on Christmas Day.

After asking for Christmas money towards his first car, teenager Daniel Jacques was devastated when he and mum Vanda Woodman returned from a family celebration to discover it had been stolen.

The thief or thieves smashed a small window at the Highfield Road property and then let themselves in through a patio door, taking �115 given to the 16-year-old by his mum and relatives for Christmas.

“I was pretty gutted. How can you go into a kid’s bedroom and nick all their money?” asked Dan


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“I need a car for going to college in September, but it is hard enough saving up without setbacks like this.”

The thief took nothing else from the house apart from a pouch of tobacco that had been in a bag with chocolates and was intended to be given as a Christmas present.

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Dan, who attends Ilfracombe Arts College, had made a point of asking everyone for money this Christmas, to save for a car when he turns 17 and begins a course in mechanics at Petroc next autumn.

“I was upset for him, because he has been so good saving the money,” added Vanda.

“I just don’t know how anybody could steal anything, they have no conscience. Then he tried to cheer me up by saying they’d taken his money but hadn’t bothered to leave a letter of apology for it.

“Now, instead of thinking about what a lovely day we’d had at Christmas, we are thinking about that.”

The burglary is thought to have occurred some time between 2pm on December 25 and 1am the next day. Albert Canty, who owns the house, returned home at 4pm but did not hear any disturbance.

Bizarrely, the offender took the time to properly shut the awkward and stiff patio door behind them.

Inspector Roger Bartlett said police were keen to find the culprits and were asking for help or information from the public.

“Finding your home has been burgled is distressing at the best of times, but for it to happen over the Christmas period and involving money given as presents is even more upsetting,” he said.

Anyone who saw anything suspicious on December 25 in Highfield Road, just before the junction with Princess Avenue, is asked to contact Detective Constable Mick Dean by calling Crimestoppers on 0800 555111 or dialling 101, quoting reference CI/12/1529.

* The Sandpiper Inn at The Quay was also burgled on Christmas Eve between 8.30-9.30am, when cash and a bottle was stolen.

Police said it is thought a window was broken to gain access to the premises. Anyone who has any information is asked to contact PC Sam Davies on the above numbers, quoting CI/12/1526.

Plus on December 27 an offender entered a coach parked on Wilder Road at the seafront between 7.30-8.20am and stole a �500 digital camera plus a sports bag from the front seats.

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