A woman forced to move out of her flat after Kettering Bedding Centre was gutted by fire has been left “heartbroken” after burglars broke into her home and stole a ring made by her late father.
Jessica Duncan, 27, was forced to flee her flat next door to the Grade II listed building as it was engulfed by flames on May 13. About 20 neighbouring homes on Regent Street were evacuated, with many not being able to return since.
Ms Duncan, a secondary school history teacher, was moved into a homeless hostel as temporary accommodation by Kettering Council and told that she could not re-enter their flat because the bedding centre next door was unsafe and its building shell could collapse.
However, since then her flat has been burgled and a ring from her late father Ian, who died in 2011, was stolen.
Ms Duncan said: “My dad had wanted me to have a special item that was from him. He found a local jeweller who could make it and it was unvarnished silver on the outside with a gold swirl and a small diamond in the middle.
“He was incredibly loving and devoted to me as his only daughter. It’s just something I remember he gave to me and I have always treasured it, especially after he died.
“It means so much to me, but is really worth nothing to these heartless thieves. “
“I just hope people can look out for it, if it has been sold, discarded or if someone is trying to sell, and report it to police. Words cannot describe how I’m feeling. I am asking for people to help us look for anything in shops or online that may have been sold over last week.”
A police spokesman said they received a report of a break-in with a suspected timeframe of between 5.30pm on May 24 and 9am on May 25.
However, Ms Duncan has now been told by witnesses on the street that she was not in fact burgled last weekend but a week earlier on May 18 at around 2am, giving the thieves a week longer to sell the stolen property.
An eyewitness who lives just outside the street’s cordon told Ms Duncan the suspects were two young males, white with dark hair, 5ft 8in tall, and wearing dark clothing, caps and had rucksacks.
They said they jumped the fences to get in and out of the property and one hurt his leg trying to escape, crying out “there is a bone sticking out of my leg”.
The police spokesman was unable to confirm the descriptions.
Items stolen, as well as the unique ring, include: a black Samsung laptop with charcoal cover, a 13in MacBook Air with a black flower case, which is silver without the case, a silver Pandora bracelet with various unique charms including the statue of liberty and a fairy, two single pearl necklaces, a silver heart pendant necklace and a further unique silver bracelet with Italian writing on it.
Ms Duncan said: “Please let something good come out of this nightmare that I am living.
“I waited patiently to get into my flat since the fire to only have someone unwanted enter it first.”
A spokesman for Northamptonshire Police said they were not aware of any further reports of burglary in the area affected by the fire and neighbourhood patrols are ongoing.
An investigation into the break-in is under way. Anyone with information is asked to call Northamptonshire Police on 101, incident number 19000267595.