Appeal to trace precious items stolen from Barley grandmother’s home just weeks before her death

The family christening robe - pictured being worn by Louise's son David - was also stolen.

The family christening robe - pictured being worn by Louise's son David - was also stolen. - Credit: Archant

A grieving Barley woman has told of her anguish after discovering that precious items given to her by her mother, who died on Christmas Day, had been stolen from her home.

This bowl, of sentimental value, was also taken.

This bowl, of sentimental value, was also taken. - Credit: Archant

Louise Shaw says the missing items – which include a family christening robe which had been passed down over several generations, jewellery, a bowl she had been given by her mother as a birthday present and a cashmere coat, were of huge sentimental value and her loss has become even more painful since her mother passed away.

Louise and her family moved to the village in August, and she was given help by carers to look after her mother Kathleen Brooks.

A couple of months later doctors recommended that Kathleen should be moved downstairs to the ground floor, and it was over the next few days that her daughter noticed cupboards and boxes throughout the house had been searched and many other items were missing.

A suitcase of her mum’s had been cleared of all its contents, with the exception of her wedding dress.

There was no sign of a break-in, so Louise suspects the thefts were carried out by someone she trusted and let into her home.

She said: “I couldn’t believe somebody would go into her things.

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“This loss is enormous and I now feel that I have not only lost my mum, but also so many memories associated with her last year.

“I would love to be able trace some of these items – they are irreplaceable to me, and worth far more than any insurance payment would cover.

“We only moved to Barley in August, and have been extremely happy, being assured that this is a low crime area.

“However, this has jolted our confidence and we are now considering selling the house and leaving next year if the situation is not resolved.”

A Herts police spokeswoman said: “We are investigating a burglary at a property in Church End between 12.09am on Friday, October 30 and 11.42am on Friday, November 6. Offenders stole a number of cosmetic, clothing, china and jewellery items.”

Louise is appealing to anyone who may have seen any of the items, perhaps on a market stall at Christmas, to get in touch with police on 101, quoting crime reference G4/15/795.