Thief steals $25,000 of jewellery, wedding ring as woman works at home

When Susana Leitao couldn’t find her rings in her bedroom she headed to the kitchen, thinking she must have put them down there and forgotten.

But, after a search of the kitchen and other parts of the house, it slowly dawned on her and her partner that several items were missing and they had been burgled.

And, to make things worse, it appears the thief had not only taken more than $25,000 worth of jewellery – they had also snuck in and done it while she was at home.

“It’s really awful, it’s an invasion of your privacy and personal space,” Leitao told the Herald.

The Freemans Bay woman is now urging others to always lock their doors, even while they are at home, and to consider keeping valuables like jewellery in places thieves wouldn’t automatically search.

“One of the things police mentioned that I hadn’t thought of is that experienced jewellery thieves will go to bedrooms and look there so it’s best not to leave jewellery in your bedroom.”

READ MORE: New survey reveals one in four people have been burgled in the past year

Leitao is not entirely sure when the burglary happened as it had been a couple of days since she had worn her rings.

“On Friday morning [October 1] I went to put on my wedding ring and this other ring I wear all the time and I went to my jewellery box and they were gone. I hadn’t had them on for a couple of days.

“Initially I just thought I’d misplaced them, that I’d taken them off in the kitchen or something, so I did a big search of the house.”

During the search she noticed a ring from her mother, who died a year ago this week, and her grandfather’s wedding band were also missing. Her partner also started searching the house and found a wallet in a drawer with foreign currency and two watches missing.

“That’s when we realised then that we must have been broken into.”

Since then they have also noticed two small bronze Scottish Terrier figurines her grandfather smelted in the late 1920s or early 1930s items are also missing.

With no damage to doors or window frames and no missing keys, she believes it happened while she was working downstairs and the doors were unlocked.

She said she never thought someone would come down her long driveway while she was at home.

Police told her it was likely an experienced thief was involved given the selective nature of what was taken and how quickly and quietly they carried it out.

The jewellery boxes the rings were in were also left behind so it wasn’t obvious anything was amiss.

While the couple are insured, Leitao said money can’t replace the sentimental value of her wedding ring and mother and grandfather’s rings.

She’s now extra vigilant about security.

“I’m not the kind of person who gets overly anxious, but I’m just being more cautious like making sure the doors are locked, even when we are at home. We’ve got an alarm but are just making sure we use that more often.”

A police spokesperson said crime scene officers attended but have exhausted all lines of Inquiries at this stage.

• Anyone with information is encouraged to contact police, quoting file number 211002/1780.

STOLEN JEWELLERY:
• $11,000 gold wedding ring that has three bands with diamonds and one big diamond on top.
• $1200 white gold and topaz women’s ring.
• Her late mother’s $10,000 solid gold band with a diamond, and her grandfather’s solid gold wedding band.
• $3500 silver Longines men’s watch.
• Tudor watch.

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