A burglary victim has described the fear and anger she experienced after thieves ransacked her home for a handful of Egyptian cash.
The mother-of-one was doing her rounds as a support worker when the thieves entered her home in Grattons Drive, Pound Hill, on August 15 and went from room to room searching for valuables.
It was only when the 35-year-old went home for a break that she discovered the theft.
Spotting the contents of her handbag spilled all over the floor and items from cupboards scattered on worktops, she initially thought her husband had been searching for something and hadn’t had time to tidy up.
But when she realised the lounge had also been searched, she called the police.
She said: “I went into the bedroom and it was just trashed.
“They had been into every room, even my son’s bedroom. They had searched through all his little trinkets.
“They made all that mess and all they took was a handful of Egyptian money that’s hardly worth anything.”
The burglary was one of five in the area which took place in broad daylight within the space of three days.
Homes in Worth Park Avenue and Grattons Drive were targeted on August 12 before thieves returned to Grattons Drive on the 15th and also stole cash and jewellery from Pearson Road and St Catherine’s Road.
All five crimes are being investigated as part of Operation Magpie, launched by Sussex Police to tackle burglary across the county.
As part of the investigation, officers have visited bureaux de change in Tesco, Sainsbury’s and Asda in case the thieves try to exchange the stolen money.
A spokesman for Sussex Police said: “As part of their enquiries, officers have visited a number of supermarkets which have currency exchanges in a bid to identify potential offenders who may have used the service to change the stolen foreign cash.
“These enquiries are on-going. No arrests have been made at this time.”
Describing the aftermath of the burglary, the woman said: “I was really upset that some horrible scumbag had been searching through all our things. We work hard for our money and they think they have the right to do that.”
Anger was not the only emotion to affect her or her neighbours.
She said: “Our next door neighbour is an elderly lady and she was on holiday when it happened. She’s quite frightened now. I’ve tried to reassure her. It’s so sad.”
Describing the night after the burglary, she added: “It was frightening. Every time I heard a bump, a knock or a bang it was making me jump.
“I’m quite a tough person but it just makes you wonder if they are coming back.
“Now I’m like a hawk when I see people walking past the house.
“We’re moving house soon and now we can’t wait to go.”
Despite the effect the burglary has had, the victim was quick to praise the police for their actions.
She said: “The police have been excellent. They were here within about five minutes. They sent a community support officer who has been wonderful.”
Appealing for witnesses, Detective Constable Andrew Robinson said: “It is possible the thieves
watched the properties and deliberately waited for the owners to leave before they broke in.
“Please tell us anything you saw, no matter how insignificant it might seem to you.”
Anyone with information about the burglaries should call 101 quoting serial 1013 of 12 August or call Crimestoppers on 0800 555111.