A family in England have been left stunned and shaken after a brazen burglar cut a large hole in their front door using power tools and thieved priceless belongings including their son’s first fallen tooth.
Aaron Barnes was relaxing inside his Bristol home on 12 May 2022 while his partner was out on a school run when a silver van pulled up outside.
While the father heard the sounds of power tools reverberating in the distance, he simply assumed it was work being carried out on a nearby home.
However, 20 minutes later, when his partner returned home, the pair was shocked to find a large hole had been carved out of their front door and that a brash burglary had taken place right before them.
According to reports from local media outlet BristolLive, Mr Barnes worked out that in the swift smash and grab, more than £7,000 worth of belongings had been pilfered, along with items of great sentimental value.
“They took stuff that I am never going to get back,” the father said, still astonished by the crime.
“My son’s first tooth, his hospital wrist band from when he was born and some personalised jewellery I had made from his footprint.
“It’s just disgusting what they’ve done.”
Mr Barnes added that he believed the culprits knew the family given only one room was ransacked.
Family Left “Petrified” By Home Invasion and Offer Cash Reward for Information About the Break-In
While the Barnes family has happily lived in the area for four years, the terrifying incident has left them “petrified” and requiring family support.
In fact, Mr Barnes’ partner no longer feels safe doing the school run.
“She is petrified,” the man said of his companion.
“She doesn’t want to do a school run and she wants family members around her all the time.
“They knew where they were going and I’m worried about my family.”
Since the crime, Mr Barnes has appealed to the public via social media for help and offered a cash reward to anyone who can provide information about the crime.
“I am willing to pay £500 to anyone who has the right information that can help myself and the police,” he wrote in a Facebook post.
The police have since also appealed for information as part of their investigations into the theft.
A spokesperson from Avon and Somerset Police advised that while officers secured and searched the property at the time of the burglary, investigations are still underway to locate the thief.
“If you saw anything out of the ordinary, or if you have any CCTV or doorbell footage which may assist the investigation, please call 101 and give the call handler the reference number 5222110000,” the officer advised.
Break and Enter
Hot tip: Breaking into another’s property by cutting a large hole in the front door using a noisy power tool isn’t exactly discreet and there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be discovered.
Beyond this, breaking into another person’s property – and committing offences therein, such as stealing – is very much against the law, and, in fact, a criminal offence that can land you behind bars for a number of years.
If you’re in NSW, section 112 of the Crimes Act 1900 is the reference point for breaking into any house and committing a serious indictable offence.
Section 112 makes clear that a person is guilty of an offence where they:
- Break and enter any dwelling-house or other building and commits any serious indictable offence therein (including larceny), or
- Being in any dwelling-house or other building, commits any serious indictable offence therein and breaks out of the dwelling-house or other building.
Should you be found guilty of any such offence, you can face a maximum penalty of 14 years in jail.
Serious indictable offences are defined as those that carry more than five years in jail as its penalty.
Examples of serious indictable offences include larceny, sexual assault, and assault occasioning bodily harm.
Defences to the charge of break, enter and commit serious indictable offence can include mistaken identity, that you had authority to enter the house or premises, duress or necessity.
By Sahar Adatia.