Plea from the heart from burgled mum

ALL that grieving mum Patricia Bond had left of her dead daughter's belongings, was a locket.It kept a treasured lock of her daughter's hair and precious photo, safe.

ALL that grieving mum Patricia Bond had left of her dead daughter's belongings, was a locket.

It kept a treasured lock of her daughter's hair and precious photo, safe.

As she cradled it in her hand, it never failed to spark memories of Sharon Leathers, who she lost three years ago.

But cruel thieves have struck and stolen the gold chain and locket - worth hardly any cash but of immeasurable sentimental value.


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Mrs Leathers, who was a 37-year-old mother-of-two, had kept strong during a lifelong battle against cystic fibrosis, but died in hospital of septacaemia in February 2000, just months before her planned marriage.

Ms Bond was devastated when she realised that thieves had taken the locket, which she wore on a chain. It also bore a crucifix, a cocoa bean and a horn of life pendant.

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In a heart-rending appeal via the Evening Star, she begged those who took it to give it back.

The 62-year-old from Sirdar Road, Ipswich, said: "Please, please return them.

"You got what you wanted and more. You have taken away my self confidence, made me feel sick to the stomach.

"Someone had rummaged through my home, taken everything sellable, my silver watch, a silver chain, even my pension book.

"But those things are immaterial to me - my daughter's locket is everything."

The break in happened between midnight and 6am on Wednesday while Ms Bond was in the house. It was one of a spate of 35 break-ins across Ipswich in the past two weeks.

Ms Bond heard her dog bark at around 12.30am. The thieves broke a window in the front door, and made off with the necklace, two watches, money and DVDs.

They also took Ms Bond's wallet in which she carried a picture of Sharon taken just two weeks before she died.

Ms Bond had hung the locket on a hook ready to wear again in the morning, but is hard of hearing so never heard the window smash. She only discovered the crime when she spotted the front door left wide open at 6am, and saw shattered glass.

Ms Bond was so sickened by the break-in she said could barely pen her letter to the Star, and said she was not able to think straight.

She issued a message to the burglars and said: "Try and redeem some of your self esteem and return them to me and make a very unhappy mum and nana smile again.

"You never know, it might make you feel better - or does this kind of thing come easy to you? I don't care if you out it through the letterbox, or hang it on the fence where I can see it. That lock of hair is irreplaceable."

Anyone with information about the burglary or the whereabouts of the locket should call Pc Kevin McGlinchey at Ipswich police station on 01473 613500.

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The Evening Star is today offering a £1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of any burglar responsible for one of the 35 raids.

Dozens of families and businesses have been hit during the past fortnight's spate of burglaries in Ipswich with a total haul worth more than £17,000.

Burglars do not appear to be striking in any particular pattern, breaking in at all times of day and night

Residents have been burgled in: Berners Street, Sirdar Road, Hill House Road, Camden Road, Woodbridge Road, Chilton Road, Avondale Road, Alan Road, Pretyman Road, Queensbery Road, Withipoll Street, Derby Close, Foxhall Road, Faraday Road, Shackleton Road, Gladstone Road, Kingston Road, Lavenham Road, Springfield Lane, Old Norwich Road, Shakespeare Road, Pearl Road, Stratford Road, Defoe Road, Burns Road, Whitton Church Lane, Bell Close, Spencer Road, Marigold Avenue, Kingsley Close, Defoe Road, Spencer Road, Gippeswyk Road, Norwich Road, Ramsey Close.

Police have urged residents to be on guard and to take preventative measures in order to deter potential thieves.

Anyone with information should phone Ipswich CID on 01473 383133 or Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.

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Have you been a victim of a burglary?

Tell us your story. Write in to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk or visit the forum at www.eveningstar.co.uk

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