Pensioner returned home after holiday in Australia to find drawers emptied onto bed and more than 20 items of jewellery taken.

POLICE are appealing for information after a South Molton pensioner returned from a family trip to Australia to discover £5,000 worth of jewellery missing.

The woman, in her 80s, discovered her house had been burgled and more than 20 items had been taken, including a wedding ring and eternity ring.

It is believed the offender(s) entered the property by removing a glass panel on the locked front door before making an untidy search.

Contents of drawers and cupboards were emptied onto the bed while the woman was away some time between March 30 and 7pm on Sunday, June 1.

DC Simon Scotthorne, Barnstaple criminal investigation department, said: “This has been very upsetting for the elderly victim, particularly as she had just returned from her holiday to find the upstairs of her house had been ransacked and her precious jewellery had been taken.

“She had recently photographed the jewellery to help her decide which pieces she would like to leave to her children.

“We are keen to speak to anyone who knows the whereabouts of the stolen jewellery, has been offered the items for sale, or saw anyone acting suspiciously in the area at the time.”

Other items taken include a large cluster pearl ring, green and pearl drop earrings, a gold cross and chain, small silver stud earrings, cameo earrings, three silver bracelets, a pearl drop and gold necklace, a black and coral necklace, a gold and white gold bracelet, pearl drop gold earrings, a plain gold chain, gold earrings, amber earrings, gold cufflinks, a silver charm bracelet (without charms), diamond and ruby broach, and a diamond and sapphire ring.

Police have advised residents going away on holiday to try to make their home appear occupied.

Ask a trusted friend, neighbour or relative to look out for their property, ask them to collect post from the letterbox so it does not build up, put the bins out and open and close the curtains.

If they have a driveway ask a friend or neighbour to park their car there so it looks like someone is home.

Anyone with information that could assist with the investigation is asked to call police on 101 quoting CR/077917/14, or alternatively call the independent charity Crimestoppers, anonymously, on 0800 555 111.