The Derbyshire family are sleeping with a baseball bat for security reasons after the house was searched for a third time – with £50,000 worth of stolen valuables

Mother-of-two Lorna Stubbs, 47, says her house has been broken into so many times her son insists he sleep with a baseball bat.

And she says the kids ask Harry and Ava, “Are we going to be burgled?” when they leave the house – after three burglaries in as many years.

The family say more than £50,000 worth of valuables were stolen, including two electric bikes, an electric scooter, designer handbags and family heirlooms.

Register to our daily newsletter

Thieves broke through the roof and committed the latest burglary in their house.

But Lorna – who says they already have CCTV, motion-triggered lights and a burglar alarm – doesn’t know what else to do to stop the thieves attacking her home

She said: “I don’t know what to do about it anymore – we need to raise awareness but the question is how do you protect your property.

“We can’t afford to insure it anymore and we already have CCTV, lights and alarms which they just turned off.

“Rural villages are just loot, they know there’s no police presence and it’s gone quickly – it’s scary for the kids, they think it’s a part of life that you just break into.”

(LR) Ava, Lorna, Harry and Paul Stubbs say more than £50,000 worth of valuables were stolen including two electric bikes, an electric scooter, designer handbags and family heirlooms.

The first burglary at the home in Holmesfield, Derbyshire, happened at the end of November 2019 when Lorna took her son and daughter out of the house for just an hour so her daughter could attend piano lessons.

When they returned to the house, they found their belongings strewn across the floor of the house – and patio furniture had been thrown through the patio doors to allow the brazen thieves to gain access.

They removed over £40,000 worth of valuables from Lorna’s wardrobe and chest of drawers, including designer handbags and shoes, jewelery and family heirlooms.

After the burglary, Lorna and Paul’s 13-year-old son insisted on sleeping with a knife aged just 10 – and when his parents wouldn’t allow it, he asked for club spray at Christmas in case the burglars tried to get back into the property move in.

The second time their property has been broken into was during lockdown in March 2021 – although on that occasion they found the thief before he had managed to get his hands on any of her belongings.

Lorna had gone outside into the garden to bring in the washing and saw that the door to the outbuilding was open and as she was about to close it a burglar came running out of the building – and although Paul gave chase the criminal escaped.

It was only last Monday (09/05) that the family experienced their latest break-in – and what was even more frightening was that Paul, Ava and Harry were all home and in bed at the time.

The brazen thieves took stepladders to the property, which they used to climb onto the garage roof and remove all the tiles from one side of the roof, the family says – before cutting the wooden struts and climbing into the house.

They then used a chainsaw to cut the bolts securing two e-bikes worth over £10,000 and then wedged open the garage door and exited the property – even knowing where the CCTV was located so they couldn’t could be caught on camera.

Now Lorna says her family is suffering from the long-term effects of the series of burglaries.

“These people take what you’ve earned and saved because it’s your hobby and what you enjoy doing – they think you have money, so it’s fine,” Lorna said.

“What’s next? Do we wait for them to break into the house again? It has been detrimental to our family life.

“It’s a long-term impact these guys are having – my daughter suffered from anxiety during lockdown and we went out on the e-bikes together

“Now the weather is nice we were going to go out together but we can’t afford to replace them as they aren’t insured – we couldn’t afford to insure them as our home insurance went through the roof and they said they would not insure the bikes as they are so frequently stolen.

“The first time it happened was late November three years ago – we were only out for an hour to take my daughter to piano lessons.

“When we came back we saw that there were Christmas cards all over the floor and then when I went into the hallway my gym bag from the morning was scattered everywhere.

Continue reading

Continue reading

Man arrested for hate crimes after obstructing police in Shirebrook

“My daughter wanted to put her piano books in the study and saw furniture being taken from outside and used to break the windows.

“I went into the master bedroom and they had cleaned me out, they took jewelry, family heirlooms, designer handbags and shoes, they cleaned out my dressing table – it was like they knew where to go and what to find.

“They took over £40,000 worth of valuables and after that it was tough – my son insisted on sleeping with a knife when he was only ten and at Christmas he asked for mace spray if they came back, he refused, being alone in the house and if my husband left he would have panic attacks.

“The second time it was during lockdown and we were in the house I had gone outside to bring in the laundry and saw the outbuilding door open.

“I went to shut the door and a burglar ran out and jumped over the stone wall, I screamed and my husband gave chase to catch him – he said he got a glimpse of his face and he was literally a child and looked about 18 years old.

“Then last week I was in London for work on Monday night and got a call at half past six in the morning to tell me it had happened again.

“They had gone through the conifers in front of our driveway and taken a stepladder, which they used to climb up the garage and remove the tiles from one side of our roof.

“They cut through the roof, removed the struts and climbed in – we had two ten thousand pound e-bikes bolted to the ground and you were never supposed to be able to undo the bolts.

“They sawed them through with chainsaws at half past two in the morning and deactivated the alarm and to get the bikes out they pried open our garage door by pushing it up and putting a broom under it.

“They also took my son’s electric scooter, which he bought after raising money for them to buy by selling his stuff at a boat show.

“We have CCTV and they obviously know where it is – they walked along the side of the house so they wouldn’t be seen by the camera at all and got the bikes back through the conifers while my husband, two kids and a dog were in the house.

“You feel like you’re being watched all the time, and we’re people who work hard and buy nice things, and then it happens and you’re like, ‘What’s this all about’ – there’s literally no more police presence and these criminals just think great easy pickings.

“It has been reported to the police and I am undecided on contacting the local Conservative MP but he knows the situation and knows crime is rampant and he has done nothing.

“My son’s bedroom has a baseball bat by his bed and Mace [spray] in the drawer and sometimes even now in the morning I go in and find a knife on his table – he refuses to sleep without the dog because he knows he will bark and wake him up.

“Police need to sit down and listen – there are working families who are paying high rates and not getting protection.”

A Derbyshire Police spokesman said: “We have received three separate reports of burglaries at an address in Holmesfield since 2018.

“The first happened in November of this year, the second in March 2021 and the third in May 2022.

“Nothing was stolen during the 2021 burglary, but there was property damage.

“Extensive investigations were conducted in 2018 and 2021 and after following all reasonable lines of investigation, the investigations have been completed.

“The investigation into the recent burglary in which two electric mountain bikes were stolen is ongoing.

“Anyone with private video surveillance installed or who was in the area around 3am on May 10th with a dashcam installed is asked to contact us at 22*265643 via our Facebook, Twitter, our website or by calling 101.

“Derbyshire Police launched a special operation to tackle serious commercial crime and burglary in the north of the county earlier this year in response to the rise in burglaries in the area.

“The operation enabled an investment in investigative and preventative resources to help us manage this surge.

“This included targeted patrols in the Holmesfield area involving both uniformed and civilian officers.

“SmartWater kits have also been distributed locally to help identify stolen items and local officers are working with residents to provide appropriate crime prevention advice.

“This work has resulted in reports of burglaries in the area declining and a number of arrests have been made in relation to incidents in the Bolsover and North East Derbyshire areas.

“Officials on site continue to work closely with colleagues from our CID and operational support departments, as well as partner agencies, to prevent further break-ins and bring those responsible to justice.”

Leave a Comment