Blind Sheffield couple feel 'totally violated' after callous burglars ransack home

Nicola and Frank Gardner.
Nicola and Frank Gardner.

A blind couple have said they feel 'totally violated' after callous burglars ransacked their home stealing thousands of pounds worth of jewellery.

Frank and Nicola Gardner returned home after enjoying a night out to find thieves had broken in and stolen nearly £5000 in cash and jewels.

The broken lock.

The broken lock.

The couple, who both use guide dogs, now fear the burglars could have staked out their Waterthorpe home and seen them as 'easy targets' because they are both visually impaired.

Mr Gardner, aged 54, said: "We feel totally violated. The people who did this are lowlifes.

"It has made us wonder if they have been outside our house beforehand and targeted us. Obviously they would have probably seen the guide dogs.

"It's disgraceful."

The couple had been out enjoying a debate on religion and atheism as part of the Off The Shelf literary festival at Sheffield Cathedral when the burglary happened sometime between 6.20pm and 10pm on Tuesday, October 10.

When they returned home they noticed they had been broken into when they felt that the locks had been knocked out of the front door.

Once inside the couple discovered about £3500 worth of gold chains, necklaces, earrings, rings and bracelets had been taken from Mrs Gardner's jewellery box in their bedroom.

They had also pinched £1150 in cash.

Mrs Gardner, aged 51, said: "They took the lot. The loss of sentimental value is worse than anything else. It's of no use to them, they will just sell it on.

"They took my engagement ring and the engagement ring my dad gave to my mum. It makes you feel awful."

The break-in tops a difficult year for the couple, which has seen Mr Gardner overcome thyroid and bowel cancer.

They have reported the crime to police and are now looking at improving security at their home amid fears they could be targeted again.

Mr Gardner, a call centre worker, said: "We will definitely get some alarms fitted. It has been a difficult time for us.

"If anyone witnessed the burglary please contact police."

South Yorkshire Police has been contacted for comment and we are awaiting a reply.