Brixham vicar's anger over Christmas holiday home raid
A SOUTH Devon vicar has been left feeling 'angry' after burglars ransacked his house over the Christmas holiday.
Rector Tim Deacon and his wife Sheila had just returned from a day of Christmas shopping when they discovered a double glazed window at the back of their vicarage home in the St Mary's area of Brixham had been forced open.
More than £4,350 worth of Sheila's jewellery was stolen. So, too, was Mr Deacon's prized collection of cufflinks.
About £90, donated by parishioners for the church, including a single cheque for £45, was also snatched.
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Mr Deacon, speaking for the first time about the raid, thought the thieves had stopped at the hallway, but when he moved upstairs he discovered they had turned their bedroom upside down and completely ransacked rooms.
He said: "I went upstairs to prepare for a funeral and saw our bedroom completely turned over. They went through everything and emptied all the drawers.
"They took all my wife's jewellery, all my cufflinks and some of the jewellery which had been given to our children by grandparents that we were keeping for them.
"The fact we are Christians does not mean we don't feel anger. We were very angry because they took stuff they have not worked for. We felt a sense of being soiled."
Mr Deacon said he has always been 'a cufflinks man' and wears them every day. His stolen collection contained 20 pairs, with many in gold and white gold and other novelty ones.
He said the house had been locked, but the burglars managed to force open the double glazed window at the back of the rectory.
He called the police straight away and a scenes of crime investigator turned up within minutes.
Mr Deacon said: "They were great and very supportive. The whole community has been too. Parishioners were very sorry for us. They have all been very thoughtful and kind to us."
Mr Deacon is chairman of governors at the Brixham Church of England Primary School where Sheila is a classroom assistant.
He said pupils at the school had been marvellous when they heard about the raid before they broke up for the Christmas holidays.
He said: "Only the day after the burglary they offered my wife a beautiful pair of earrings and some cufflinks for me.
"It was very touching and reaffirming."
Brixham councillor Vic Ellery said: "A burglary is a traumatic time for any victim and thankfully not to often in our community.
"This one was particularly callous because it was at the home of our rector and our vicarage.
"This lovely couple spend every waking hour dispensing pastoral care to our community. This time of year is one of their busiest.
"It was the manner in which the rooms were trashed and the damage caused that is particularly despicable and yet the daily life of the parish had to go on despite the trauma being suffered by Tim and his lovely wife.
"We are very fortunate the crime rate in Brixham is low, but I appeal to those who frequent the criminal fraternity in Brixham, that if they know who was responsible to contact the police.
"Let's give back to Tim and his wife some hope of human kindness that they give in bucketfuls."
Police have confirmed they are investigating the December 10 burglary. Details have only been released recently.
A spokesman said: "We are investigation a burglary at the All Saints vicarage in Brixham where a double glazed window was forced and jewellery worth £4,350 was stolen.
"None of the items have yet been recovered. We are appealing to anyone who may have seen anything untoward during 11am and 7pm that day to contact us and quote the crime reference number FB/12/1290."