Thieves broke into a home and stole a safe containing £80,000 of jewellery including much-loved family heirlooms.
Police are appealing for information to trace the stolen items and catch the thieves who burgled the home in Grange Lane, East Langton.
The burglary took place at about 7.30pm on Friday, January 10, and pictures have been issued by police and home-owner Robin Bowie in a bid to recover the items.
Thieves scaled a ladder and forced open a first-floor window to break in to Mr Bowie’s home.
The burglars then used a steel rod from Mr Bowie’s tennis court in his grounds to leverage the safe from a cupboard where it was hidden.
The raiders then put the safe in a wheelbarrow and transported it to their getaway vehicle.
It was while the thieves were about to leave that Mr Bowie’s wife returned home and chanced upon the car and the thieves – but was unaware they had just broken into her home and stolen the safe.
She even asked a man in the car what he was doing but he drove off without saying a word.
Mr Bowie told the Mail: “There was a combination of jewellery stolen.
“Things that were from my father and from my wife’s grandparents and parents, as well as things I had bought.
“My wife only saw one man but we think there would have had to have been more.
“I think they knew what they were looking for.”
The thieves also stole a quantity of cash, but police did not specify the amount.
Mr Bowie said the police have been excellent following the burglary. The getaway car is described as being a pale, silver-coloured saloon-style car with a registration plate beginning with the letter ‘R’.
The suspect who was seen is described as white, aged in his 20s and having short, brown hair.
He was wearing a light-coloured T-shirt and baggy trousers.
Mr Bowie said: “It just makes you so much more apprehensive and less open to people. You become more suspicious about things.”
The stolen jewellery included watches, a necklace, bracelets and earrings.
Detective Constable Melanie Fisher, the investigating officer, said: “The victims have been left upset at the loss of their family jewellery and are keen to do everything possible to ensure the return of their property.
“We would urge jewellers and pawn brokers to have a look at the images and contact us if they have been approached by someone selling similar items or even visited by someone asking for them to value the items.
“We are also keen to speak to anybody who saw someone acting suspiciously in the area at the time or who knows who may be responsible for the burglary. Any calls received will be treated in confidence.”
Anyone with any information should contact Det Con 4433 Melanie Fisher on the police 101 number, follow the instructions to leave a message for the officer and when prompted, key in the officer’s identification number 4433.