Thieves steal serviceman's link home

IT SEEMS nowhere is sacred after £750 of electronics was stolen from a church in Ipswich.A callous thief snatched a laptop containing hundreds of family photos and a 13-year-old's Ipod from the Salvation Army Citadel on Woodbridge Road.

IT SEEMS nowhere is sacred after £750 of electronics was stolen from a church in Ipswich.

A callous thief snatched a laptop containing hundreds of family photos and a 13-year-old's Ipod from the Salvation Army Citadel on Woodbridge Road.

The valuables belonged to RAF Wing Commander Kim Balshaw and his daughter Eve who were there to present a talk to the over 60s club.

Wing Cdr Balshaw, 48, is originally from Lowestoft but now lives in Watford. He was back from Afghanistan for a few days to visit his family and talk about his vital support for an orphanage in the war torn country.


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Those few days should have been spent enjoying the little time he has to spend with his wife and children but were instead spent filing crime reports and insurance claims.

Wing Cdr Balshaw said: “My in-laws live in Felixstowe are stalwarts of the Salvation Army. I offered to talk to the club about my time in counter narcotics in Afghanistan and the work we do for an orphanage in Kabul.

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“My daughter came with me to do some singing and she had brought her accompanying music along on her Ipod.”

While everyone took a break for lunch, the Balshaw's left their equipment in what they thought was the safety of the church hall. They were devastated to find on their return that their belongings had been taken.

Wing Cdr Balshaw said: “I looked in my laptop bag and thought to myself 'I'm sure I left it in there'. I just put it down to getting a bit forgetful in my old age but the computer manual and power cable had also disappeared. Then Eve noticed that her Ipod and its charger had been taken from her bag.”

Several people reported seeing a man leaving the building. When he was asked by one if they could help him, he replied: “No, I'm sorted” and left the church.

Like thousand of husbands and fathers in Afghanistan, Wing Cdr Balshaw is granted a 30 minute phone call each week to speak with his family. His laptop provided him with a way of staying in touch more often through e-mail and the free internet phone service, Skype.

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