Sue Bradley arrived home last Thursday to find that burglars had broken into her home. PHOTO/BECKIE WILSON

BECKIE WILSON

beckie.wilson@age.co.nz

Sue Bradley is wishing she had installed an alarm system in her house — maybe it would have deterred the burglars who broke in her home last Thursday and stole family heirlooms and war medals.

When Mrs Bradley arrived at her Opaki home from work shortly after her husband Ian, she assumed he had been “scrounging around” when she saw the mess in the bedroom.

The Bradleys had left for work by 6.30 that morning, and both returned separately at about 3pm.

“I saw things on the bed, I thought why has he been up there rummaging round, and I came out and put my stuff on the breakfast bar, and that’s when I asked him if he had been in the bedroom, and he said no.

“Then I said, ‘Oh my god we have been burgled’.”

Mrs Bradley said the burglar had entered through the lounge window and had gone down to the bedroom, “gone through our drawers, pulled clothes out, grabbed what they could, then taken the laptop on their way out”.

Everything that was taken had sentimental value to the Bradleys.

“The main thing is the war medals, that’s really hurtful, and my grandmother’s watch that was a gold watch, plus I had my mum’s watch stolen and she’s not around anymore, and my first watch when I turned 13,” Mrs Bradley said.

Mr Bradley’s $5000 Omega watch he received after 25 years’ service from a previous employer was also stolen.

“It’s all those things . . . they just see it and think money.”

Her father-in-law’s four war medals were in one of her husband’s drawers in the bedroom.

A Japanese Force medal, Korean Force medal and two service medals with ‘J Bradley’ engraved on the edges were kept together.

Mrs Bradley believes it was just one person who stole the items, as the couple had a 65-inch television on the lounge wall which she thought we have been taken if there were more than one person.

“It’s just violating, especially when you work your whole life to save up for things, and then someone comes in and just steals.”

The couple have just spent a few thousand to install an alarm system — “Unfortunately I wish I had done it sooner”.

“The worst thing is you hear of people getting burgled and you think ‘oh those poor people’, but until it happens to yourself, you just don’t know what it’s like.”